1990 Bentley Continental.
Photo: Courtesy of Christie's

Auction of the Week: Elton John’s Beloved Bentley Continental Fetches $441,000

Christie’s highly anticipated auction of the legendary musician’s estate included 49 lots and achieved a total of $8 million on opening night

On Wednesday evening, Christie’s New York sold every lot in the opening auction of the Collection of Sir Elton John, achieving $8 million in total—doubling the house’s presale estimate. The highly anticipated sale was led by Banksy’s Flower Thrower Triptych, a work Elton John acquired directly from the artist, which achieved $1.9 million.

But it was his 1990 Bentley Continental that perhaps caused the greatest stir in the room on the night. The handsome car, which traveled with him internationally, from Atlanta to Los Angeles to the South of France, drew 24 contestants—online, on the phone, and in the room—who bid it up from a low estimate of $25,000 to a final price of some $441,000.

Tash Perrin, Deputy Chairman America's selling a Pair of Silver Leather Tall Platform boots for $94,500. Photo: Courtesy of Christie's

“When I first bought the black Bentley Continental in the 1990s, I was astonished by the beauty of the car,” Sir Elton John wrote in the lot essay. “I also loved its sexy dark walnut interior and exquisite detailing. And the smell! Decades later, the car still has the most gorgeous smell from the butter soft black leather seats.” Sir Elton first drove the car in Los Angeles, making frequent trips along the Pacific Coast Highway. When he later moved to Atlanta, he brought the car with him. “It caused quite a stir whenever I took it out in town. I made many trips to visit my favorite photographic gallery, as I began the process of learning and building my photo collection. The balmy Atlanta weather and the sweet smell of magnolias were the perfect accompaniments for southern roof-down driving.”

The car then made its way across the Atlantic to the South of France, where Sir Elton would spend his summers. “We made countless trips up and down the Promenade des Anglais in Nice, with the sparkling stars guiding us to our favorite restaurant. Whenever I went shopping in Monaco, we’d valet park the car at the Hotel de Paris. The doormen would always give the Bentley prime position in the forecourt of the hotel. Every time we returned to collect the car, there would be a small gathering of tourists having their photos taken next to its elegant beauty.”

Banksy, Flower Thrower. Photo: Courtesy of Christie's

Clothing, jewelry, and other fashion accessories also far outperformed estimates. A pair of silver leather platform boots sporting the letters E and J went for 19 times their low estimate to sell for $94,500, while a signature pair or Prescription Sunglasses Sir Winston Eyeware, circa 1975 sold for $22,680, 11 times the low estimate.

A trio of watches also performed exceptionally, achieving at least three times their low estimates. A signed Cartier, Paris, Tank Normale went for $176,400, almost nine times the low estimate of $20,000, setting a record for the model. A Rolex, Daytona Wristwatch with Leopard-print Dial sold for $176,400 against its low estimate of $40,000, setting a new world auction record for the model.

“The view from the rostrum this evening was fantastic; with an incredible energy in the room and outstanding activity online,” said Tash Perrin, deputy chairman for Christie’s Americas, in a statement. “It was a privilege to auction Elton John’s inspiring collection.”

The sale continues through February 28.

Cartier 18k gold Crash watch. Photo: Courtesy of Christie's

Cover: 1990 Bentley Continental.
Photo: Courtesy of Christie's


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