After wooing the party people by announcing the re-opening of the Playboy club in London, the 60-year-old magazine has now set its sights on the community of art lovers. The magazine has teamed up with Christie’s for a sale of priceless artworks. The auction dubbed “The Year of the Rabbit” is scheduled to occur on December 8th and feature 125 artworks. According to the magazine’s founder and editor-in-chief, Hugh Hefner, the magazine has entertained, titillated, and informed with its commissioned art and has blurred the lines between fine and popular art. Among the many artworks to go under the hammer at the Christies sale is a Dali watercolor of a reclining nude that hung in Hugh Hefner’s bedroom. The fine art painting is expected to fetch between $100,000 to $150,000 at the sale. This sale’s highlight is expected to be an iconic, sexually charged oil of a scarlet-lipstick mouth by pop artist Tom Wesselmann which is expected to fetch between $2 million to $3 million.
In his signature smoking jacket and pipe, a 1970 portrait of Hefner and pipe is also being offered for sale and is expected to fetch $5000 to $7000. The sale will feature 80 photographs, more than a dozen contemporary works, and 24 cartoons.
Among photographs, the highlights are expected to be a photograph of comedian Dan Aykroyd in a cone head costume with a bunny-suited Anderson, a photo of the magazine’s 1953 debut cover Monroe, and an early 1960s shot of sex kitten Brigitte Bardot. Portraits of Duke Ellington and Dennis Hopper, as well as an Herb Ritts photo of Elle Macpherson, are also for sale. Original famous centerfolds of Anna Nicole Smith, Jenny McCarthy, and Anderson are also included in the sale and photographs of Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Thelonious Monk, and Charles Schultz.
What is more, almost all items to be featured in the sale have appeared in the magazine.
To read about the various items offered for sale click here.