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Tuesday, 6 December 2016

David Bowie's Olivetti Valentine Typewriter Sells For $A74,263

David Bowie's Olivetti Valentine portable typewriter sold at an auction at Sotheby's in London last month for a staggering £45,000 - that's $74,263 Australian and $56,565 United States money. But it's still far from a record for a typewriter, which belongs to Cormac McCarthy's Olivetti Lettera 32, sold at Christie’s for $US254,500 (£199,919 or $A341,511 at today's rates) in December 2009, and Ian Fleming's gold-plated Royal Quiet Deluxe, sold at Christie's in May 1995 to Irish actor Pierce Brosnan for £56,250 ($US71,606, or $A96,058 at today's rates). Mind you, Sotheby's had estimated Bowie's Valentine would fetch between £300 and £500 ($495-$825 Australian or $377-$629 US).
The Valentine was part of the auction of Bowie's personal collection of fine art and design pieces. The auction grossed $US41.1 million (the art collection sold for $US30.2 million and the design collection for an additional $US10.8 million). The works sold represented about 65 per cent of Bowie’s total collection. The rest remains with his family and estate. 
Bowie was obviously keen on Ettore Sottsass designs. The salt and peppers shakers sold for £7500.
 An eye-catching custom radio-phonograph by Pier Giacomo and Achille Castiglioni Brionvega from 1965 sold for £257,000 at Bowie's auction.
 Bowie at a much more practical if more prosaic Smith-Corona typewriter in Los Angeles in 1975.


Richard P said...

Good lord! That's a lot of cash for a Valentine.

In 1975, even David Bowie looked tacky ...

Bill M said...

I notice Valentines are generally over-priced. This one beats all.