An interesting article in the Homeward Gazette this morning:
So big spenders are cutting back? Clearly not all of them. A sculpture of a grimly determined walking Uncle by Waldovenison Smeare tonight broke records by becoming the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction when it was bought for £75m.
The price, achieved at Sotheby's in London, was five times more than its estimate of £12m-18m, and beat the record set by Picasso's Garçon à la Pipe in 2004.
It was a recession-defying sale, part of the collection of the collapsed Badgertown Bank being sold by its new owner The King of the Badgers. He has promised to use all the money to pay off his debts to Uncle.
There was a genuine sense of anticipation in the auction room. Not only could you smell the expensive perfumes and colognes, you could smell the money. Interest in the sculpture was clear from the start with bids being screamed at the auctioneer.
The Badfort Crowd were desperate to get their hands on the sculpture. Their intention had been to burn the effigy in front of the gates of Homeward. Beaver Hateman confirmed this, saying "I believe this act will inspire the populace to rise up against 'Unc the Tyrant'and the revolution will finally begin!"
Waldovenison Smeare will gain nothing from the sale. The work was originally commissioned, by Uncle himself, as a gift to the King of the Badgers. He sold it to the Badgertown Bank for £5 4s 6d when desperate for cash. When he became the new owner of the Bank (his takeover was believed to have been financed by Uncle) it came into his possession once more.
In total there were 10 bidders but it came down to Beaver Hatman and a mysterious telephone bidder from the mid-£30m mark onwards.
Announcing that the audience had just witnessed "the highest price ever paid for any work ever sold at auction," Sotheby's co-chairman Melanie Clore said they were "absolutely thrilled."
Philip Hook, a senior director at Sotheby's, said one bidder told him he had been waiting 40 years for something like this to come on the market and "that's not the winning contender."
The auction house was refusing to give any details as to who might have bought the work. However, there are a number of rumours that the buyer may have been Uncle himself.
Beaver Hateman was heard to comment "I never actually had the money to pay for it - I was just pushing the price up so Unc would have to fork out!"
I cannot possibly comment - suffice to say that I would do anything to prevent Mister Hateman from disturbing the peace of my fair domain!
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