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Muhammad Ali’s Secret Trove Of Self-Drawn Illustrations Sells For Nearly $1M
By Alexa Heah, 08 Oct 2021
Image via Bonhams
Muhammad Ali––yes, the world famous boxer––actually has quite a knack for the arts, it seems. Over two dozen of his works were recently auctioned off in New York City, going for nearly US$1 million in total.
26 of the boxer’s illustrations and paintings were on show, as part of the largest collection of Ali’s works to ever be displayed at auction. The stand-out piece, Sting Like A Bee, sold for US$425,000.
The drawing depicts Ali’s victory in the boxing ring, and was reportedly made when he starred in the movie Freedom Road in 1979. The final price shocked auctioneers, who had originally set estimates at US$40,000.
Other notable pieces included a painting made by Ali in 1979, which read “I Love You America,” selling for US$150,000. The Crowd and The Two Religions were other popular works, going for nearly US$25,000 each.
According to ARTnews, these never-seen-before artworks were provided by Ali’s close confidant, Rodney Hilton Brown. Brown had previously published a series of the boxer’s art commissioned by the World Federation of United Nations Associations.
Typically, most of Ali’s art pieces don’t go for such staggering numbers. Robert Rogal, Director of New York’s Ro Gallery, told Art News that some prints have gone for as low as US$1,000. It could mean that the prestige of the auction itself had lent a hand to the high prices.
At the same sale, a baseball spike by famed pitcher Babe Ruth was also snapped up for a cool US$81,563.
[via ARTnews, cover image via Bonhams]
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