Tuned to a natural E

Paul Allen, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft and owner of, among many other things, the Portland Trail Blazers basketball team, died nearly four years ago. He directed that most of his toys be sold off and the proceeds doled out to his favorite charities. Lucky them.

His sister Jody is running the show on his estate, and she's not conducting any hurried fire sales. Allen's art collection is just now being put up for auction. Christie's will have a big chunk of it on the block in early November.

Allen showed off some of what he owned while he was alive. And what he didn't show, he apparently didn't keep stashed away in a vault. They say he lived with the art works around him.

Christie's has now started to list what will be up for sale, and it's absolutely jaw-dropping. They're expecting to rake in over a billion dollars. The New York Times had a big splash the other day on some of what's in there. If you can get past the paywall, it's here. Or you can look at some of the collection on the Christie's site, here.

Executive summary: Holy moly.

There's a Seurat, and a Klimt (pictured), and an O'Keeffe, all magnificent. Monet's Waterloo Bridge. A couple of impressive Jasper Johnses. A Van Gogh orchard painting, only one of five left in private hands. It keeps going from there. Allen obviously had taste to match his bankroll. 

In art, that is. In contrast, his basketball player portfolio tended toward the likes of Sean Kemp and Darius Miles, with only the occasional Damian Lillard or Brandon Roy tossed in.

Anyway, if any readers are wondering what to get me for Christmas, Christie's can set you up with a paddle. They can be reached at 212-636-2000.


  1. We actually got to go to t a Christie’s auction for David’s father’s art collection (essentially trades for photography portraits). Let me tell you about one of the most momentous nights of our lives over a scotch sometime. Pennies compared to billions but life-changing for us nonetheless.

  2. Thank you for sharing. Holy moly might be an understatement ha.


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