Francis Bacon’s Paintbrushes Will Be Auctioned Off at Christie’s


Of the odd and unusual artifacts being auctioned at Christie’s South Kensington on September 5 as part of its “Out Of The Ordinary” sale, one of the most exciting lots is a set of Francis Bacon’s paintbrushes. According to the Guardian, the eight, well-worn paintbrushes — which come inside a tin can inside of a Perspex box — are estimated to sell for approximately £25,000, not all that surprising given the millions that his paintings typically command — earlier this year a set of Bacon’s studies for his famous series of Pope paintings that had been found on the backs of another artist’s canvases, also went to auction.

While it may seem a bit odd to offer up a token of Francis Bacon rather than his work itself, “Out of the Ordinary” is a departure from Christie’s usual wares. With lots that range from a set of fossilized bear bones and a taxidermy ostrich, to a giant, working robot made in 1957, and a titanium turbine fan for a 1970s Rolls Royce, there is nothing normal about this auction.

“‘Out of the Ordinary’ is a tightly curated one-off sale offering a unique opportunity to acquire something a little different from Christie’s South Kensington,” Charlotte Young, the head of the sale, told the Guardian. “Each lot has been selected as either visually striking or with an intriguing story to tell, and many have never before been seen at auction.”

— Meredith Caraher

(Photo: Francis Bacon in his 7 Reece Mews Studio, 1974. Photo: Michael Holtz © Michael Holtz Estate. Via Francis Bacon Estate/Facebook.)