Ever wanted to own David Bowie’s record player? Well now you could. His fancy pants designer record player, specially adapted to allow him to transfer some of his rare vinyl collection into digital format, is one of the four hundred items of his art collection up for auction at Sotheby’s. Not that it is any old record player, no this one is a design classic, others just like it are in the collections of at least three major museums. It has an estimate of £800-£1,200, but expect Bowie fans to push the price higher.
When I bought my first house many years ago the design magazines were full of Memphis furniture. Whilst the odd person of my acquaintance was able to afford a Memphis cup and saucer the rest of us had to make to do brightly coloured kitchen bins. David Bowie didn’t have the same money restrictions. One hundred of the Memphis design group’s products are up for sale. Chairs, room dividers, rugs and mugs; David Bowie bought them all. I wonder if lounged in the chairs whilst listening to music playing on the Memphis designed record player.
Twentieth century British Art features heavily among the four hundred items in the collection. But David Bowie didn’t restrict his buying to British artists he also had an extensive collection of African art. I love these Norman Catherine figurines, especially the green Cat Man, I wonder if Mr CW would consider the £2,000 – £3,000 estimate too much for a Christmas present?
Just passively buying the finished product wasn’t enough for an artist like David Bowie. He collaborated with Damien Hirst to produce this version of the iconic spin paintings.
Bidding will probably be fiercely competitive. If you just want to look at the David Bowie collection then it is on show for the next ten days at Sotheby’s New Bond Street premises for free. If you want a more permanent memento and feel that the prices may be beyond your reach then there is a three volume, lavishly illustrated catalogue for £95 or a smaller single volume for £15. Should you fancy bidding then make sure you have a ticket before you turn up, paddle in hand.
Sotheby’s, 34-35 New Bond Street, London W1A 2AA
Exhibition: November 2-4 – 9am-5pm, November 5-6 – 10am-5pm, November 7-9 – 9am-5pm, November 10 – 9am-12pm
Auctions: Thursday 10 November 7pm, Friday 11 November 10.30am and 4pm.