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Wednesday, 9 December, 1998, 10:16 GMT
Everything and kitchen sink sold in auction
Pair of large shoes
These shoes weren't made for walking
From kitchen sinks to stuffed animals, some of the world's leading contemporary art went under the hammer in London on Tuesday, raising 1.63m for young artists.

The works which went under the hammer at Christie's in London included important pieces by the so-called Britpack generation - such as Damien Hirst's arrangement of pickled pieces of cows.

In all 130 works of modern art - a fraction of Charles Saatchi's vast and extraordinary collection - was sold off.

Detail from painting
One of the 130 pieces on sale
The former king of advertising is to use the proceeds to fund bursaries for up and coming artists.

"This was a unique initiative and one that truly establishes Charles Saatchi as one of the leading patrons of contemporary art this country has ever seen," said Graham Southern, director of contemporary art at Christie's.

In Tuesday's sale, Rachel Whiteread's plaster sculpture of the underside of a domestic sink - one of her best-known works - carried an estimate of 50,000 but was eventually sold for 133,500.

Silver statue
Proceeds from the sale will fund art school bursaries
Hirst's The Lovers - four cabinets containing assorted glass jars of internal organs from two cows - was described by Christie's as the most significant of his series of animals in formaldehyde ever to come to auction.

Seen as raising philosophical questions about life and death, the piece fetched 139,000 - the joint top price for the auction and well above pre-sale expectations.

Other works that sold well above their estimates included Big Baby 2, an oversized sculpture of a baby by British artist Ron Mueck, going for 41,000.

All the pieces came from London's Saatchi Gallery, which has become a leading showcase of contemporary art since its opening in 1985.

The proceeds fo the auction are to be used to create scholarship bursaries at four London art schools.

Goldsmith's College, the Chelsea College of Art, the Royal College of Art and the Slade School of Art all have long-standing relationships with Charles Saatchi.

Rosie Millard reports on the Saatchi sale
See also:

09 Oct 98 | Entertainment
Hirst fish dead in the water
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