Attenborough's art collection auctioned for USD 7.4 million

The 50 pieces of British art went under the hammer at Sotheby's on Wednesday, after the filmmaker chose to sell them off because he ran out of space at his West London mansion, reported the Times online.

Experts expected the whole lot to go for between USD 3 and USD 4.8 million, but the paintings fetched USD 7.4 million. The 86-year-old actor and director has collected modern British art for the past 60 years.

L S Lowry's 'Old Houses', fetched 881,250 pounds and 'Thorn Head', by Graham Sutherland, set a new auction record for the artist, at 481,250 pounds. James Rawlin, the Sotheby's specialist in charge of the sale, said before the auction, "To be honest, I think he ran out of walls years ago. We have by no means stripped the house, they have a lot of good things left."

Last night, he said the sale was filled "with the kind of electricity an auctioneer dreams of", adding "It is extremely rare to come across a collection that represents in such breadth and quality the most important artists of an era."

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