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Gunter Sachs' art collection heading to auction

March 13, 2012 |  7:42 am

Sachs

A trove of modern art owned by the late Gunter Sachs, the multimillionaire European industrialist and playboy, will hit the auction block in May and is expected to bring in more than $31 million, Sotheby's announced this week.

The collection comprises close to 300 pieces by Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, René Magritte, Salvador Dalí and other major artists. Among the items that will be offered are two portraits of Brigitte Bardot, who was Sachs' second wife. One portrait is a silkscreen by Warhol and the other is a Richard Avedon photograph of the French screen siren that served as an inspiration for Warhol's portrait.

Sachs led a colorful life marked by money, leisure and beautiful women. Born in Germany to a wealthy family of industrialists, Sachs pursued many passions during his life including bobsledding and astrology as well as art collecting.

A close friend of Warhol's, Sachs organized the artist's first large-scale exhibition in Europe at his gallery in Hamburg, Germany. Sachs' collection includes a number of pieces by Warhol, including a version of the painting titled "Flowers" that is estimated to be worth as much as $6.3 million.

Though he seemingly had it all, Sachs shot himself in 2011 at his home in Gstaad, Switzerland. His family said he chose to end his life after concluding that he had an incurable degenerative disease. He was 78.

The Sotheby's auction will also include items from Sachs' furniture collection. The sale is set to take place at Sotheby's London gallery May 22 and 23.

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-- David Ng

Photo: "Gunter Sachs" (1972) by Andy Warhol. Credit: Uli Deck / AFP/Getty Images

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