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London Auction Preview: ‘Flowers’ by Andy Warhol (1964)



It’s not always possible to know what motivates a collector to sell an artwork at auction, but estimates can provide a look into their thinking. Assuming the work is not being sold because one of the three Ds (Debt, Divorce, Death), those numbers hint at the returns that collectors are hoping to achieve on the block. In the run up to the London contemporary auctions next week, Skate’s is focusing on the top five lots that are repeat auction sales, one each day. What kind of returns are collectors looking for in London? Take a look.

Andy Warhol’s Flowers will go up for auction on Friday October 17th at Christie’s in London. The only sale in the mid-October auctions with an implied negative return for the seller, Flowers will yield a 6% annual loss if sold at mid-price point ($1,385,000), even before the seller’s premium is applied. This will put the piece out of Skate’s top 10,000 works by market value.

Out of 384 Warhol artworks in the Skate top 10,000, 36 have “Flowers” in the title and 23 are identically titled Flowers. The top ranked Flowers was created in 1964 and is 121.9×121.9 cm in size, making it much larger than the Flowers repeat sale coming to auction on October 17. In addition, there are Warhol works titled Five-Foot Flowers and Ten-Foot Flowers that have been priced even higher.

Below is a look at the top prices for all of Warhol’s Flowers, and their place on the Skate’s Top 10,000 list.

6992 Flowers 1964 11/14/2007 $2,057,000
7156 Flowers 1964 2/7/2007 $2,019,300
7304 Flowers 1964 6/30/2008 $1,981,931
7411 Flowers 1964 11/14/2007 $1,945,000
7729 Flowers 1964 11/13/2000 $1,872,500
8160 Flowers 1964 6/21/2006 $1,768,224
8633 Flowers 1964 11/13/2013 $1,685,000
9467 Flowers 1964 5/2/1989 $1,540,000

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