Nov 21, 2013
By Michael Kramer
A collection of valuable artwork collected by T.S. Eliot’s widow has sold for more than $11 million dollars at auction.
Valerie Eliot was able to collect the works thanks to an unexpected windfall.
Royalties from the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Cats” made the puchases possible.
“Cats” was based on T.S. Elliot’s volume of light verse ” Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.”
The collection auctioned in London by Christie’s included drawings and watercolours by 18th and 19th century British artists and sculptors including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and David Hockney.
A landscape by John Constable titled “Helmingham Dell, Suffolk” sold for $1.1-million, a record for the artist at auction.
Valerie Eliot died last year at the age of 86.
Proceeds from the auction will go to Old Possum’s Practical Trust, an arts charity she set up.