Exclusive: Christie’s to Auction David Rockefeller Collection in May 2018

Christie’s New York will hold an auction in spring of 2018 with a selection from the Estate of David Rockefeller (1915-2017). The highly anticipated auction, possibly the most expensive estate sale in history, is tentatively scheduled to be held from 7 to 12 May 2018, according to a reliable source to The Value. Don’t forget to add this event to your calendar.

Christie’s has kept this auction in strict confidence and no information on auction dates or sale items is given to the public. So far, we know there will be roughly 2,000 lots, including Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and Modern works of art, American paintings, English and European furniture, Asian works of art, European ceramics and Chinese export porcelain, silver, and American decorative arts and furniture. Proceeds from the sale will go to charity.

This “sale of the century” is expected to yield around US$700 million, likely to be the most expensive auction of personal collections, surpassing the record made in the sale of Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) collection. In 2009, Christie’s auction of Yves Saint Laurent collection in Paris (image above) realized over €373 million, is still remembered as a momentous auction in history.

David Rockefeller and Peggy Rockefeller

The Rockefeller family is one the most influential families in the world, with great power in political and economic decision-making. David Rockefeller was the third generation of the Rockefeller family, well-known for his role as chairman and chief executive of Chase Manhattan Corporation, as well as an art lover who served as chairman of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). David Rockefeller passed away in March this year, whose fortune is estimated to be worth US$3.3 billion, together with a collection of about 15,000 pieces.

His collection has an impressive track record in auctions. Coming from his collection, White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) became the focal point of the auction at Sotheby’s New York in 2007. This masterpiece by Russian-American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko was sold for US$72.84 million with buyer’s premium, breaking the then record of most expensive post-war work of art sold at auction.

David Rockefeller (second from the left) attending a celebration of Rockefeller Center’s 50th anniversary

The Value is going to talk about David Rockefeller – his life, his collection and related auctions in our coming articles. 

Christie’s New York is situated in Rockefeller Center, a building that was named after David Rockefeller’s father John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Charity Auction of David and Peggy Rockefeller Collection 

Auction house: Christie’s New York
No. of Lots: Approximately 2,000 pieces
Auction period: 2018/5/7 - 12