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Artist’s Collection Fetches High Prices During Second Day of Bidding

April 25, 1988

NEW YORK (AP) _ A pair of pottery cookie jars sold Sunday for $23,100 - about 200 times their estimated price - to cap the second frenzied day of a 10-day auction of Andy Warhol’s oddball collection of art and kitsch.

The pair of American-made cookie jars - busts of a black chef and a black woman, both inscribed ″Cooky″ in gold - were part of a show-stealing collection of 175 cookie jars at the auction at Sotheby’s.

″I think people felt they were interesting, appealing, amusing, whimsical,″ said Sotheby’s spokesman Diana Leavitt said of the cookie jars. ″And, the Warhol factor was certainly at work in achieving these prices.″

People lined up around the block to get into Sotheby’s, and more than 1,000 packed the auction room. Among the items on the block are the late artist’s jewelry, furniture, decorations and paintings. Warhol died at age 58 last year.

Some 330 lots fetched $907,995 during 4 1/2 hours of bidding Sunday, said Ms. Levitt. The total was three times what the auction house had expected, she added.

The highest bid was $77,000 by a Beverly Hills collector for a Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow sedan, which had a pre-sale estimate of $15,000 to $20,000, she said.

The highest-selling pair of cookie jars had carried an estimated price of $100 to $150 for both and sold for $23,100 to a couple, Jim Judelson, a New York executive, and Maria Olivia, a pianist, said Ms. Levitt.

The 175 cookie jars on sale, projected to bring in $5,000 to $7,000, fetched $247,000, Ms. Levitt said. They were sold mainly in groups of three and four.

About 150 of the cookie jars were bought by Gedalio Grinberg, chairman of Movado Watches, which has developed a Warhol watch that will be sold starting in September, she added.

Among the other sale items was a group of unmounted semiprecious stones, mostly quartz, which sold for $10,000 - 10 times the pre-sale estimate.

A slightly chipped moonstone, diamond and black enamel ring, circa 1930, fetched $3,000, way beyond the pre-sale estimate of $200 to $300.

When a large golden hair ornament went for $1,300, auctioneer David Redden commented, ″Something actually sold in the estimates.″

A series of John Lennon lithographs, signed in pencil by the late ex- Beatle, sold for $10,450, just over the pre-sale estimate of $7,000 to $9,000. The lithographs depict Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono and their honeymoon.

A director’s chair with Warhol’s name on the back sold for $6,050. It was expected to bring only $100 to $150.

Warhol’s collection of American classical and Federal furniture, called by Sotheby’s the largest and most important available for auction in many years, will be sold Tuesday.

On Saturday, two sessions featuring art nouveau and art deco pieces produced a total of $5.3 million, more than double the amount expected, said Ms. Levitt. Jewelry, lamps, vases, posters, sculptures and furniture were among the items snapped up.

The total for the first two days of the sale was $6.2 million.

Before the sale began, Sotheby’s had expected the entire collection to sell for $10 million to $15 million.

Levitt said the sky-high prices were attributable ″to some degree (to) the Warhol factor, but to a great degree the quality and rarity of the objects.″

More than 10,000 items, including paintings, rare art deco furniture, watches and clocks and photographs of Marilyn Monroe, are being put on the auction block in one of the most extensive sales ever held by Sotheby’s in New York.

Proceeds will benefit the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, which will award grants to cultural institutions in the United States and abroad.

The highest bid Saturday was $275,000 by an anonymous private collector for an ebonized wood center table by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, made about 1902. Sotheby’s expected the table to sell for $30,000 to $50,000.

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