Elton John World News: Taylor Made

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How a Painting of One of Elton's Pals Fared at Auction

Friday 13 May 2011 @ 17:08 - GMT

A portrait of Elton's friend, Elizabeth Taylor, by Andy Warhol, raked in $26,962,500 on the auction block.

Three other Warhol pieces -- Flowers, Third Eye and Witch -- were also sold at the auction conducted by Phillips de Pury & Co. in Manhattan. Each sold for $8,146,500, $7,026,500 and $2,658,500, respectively.

Taylor died in March at age 79.

Liz #5 (1963) didn't come close to breaking the record for a Warhol -- his Green car crash-Green burning car I sold for more than $71 million -- but it did come close to the sale price of more than $23 million for Liz (1963) when it was auctioned at Christie's auction house in 2007.

The silkscreen, which is one of a number of pieces by the pop painter that celebrate the American actress, was offered by art collector and hedge fund financier Steve Cohen.

Prior to its sale, Liz #5 garnered a lot of interest in the art world, said Michael McGinnis, who heads the contemporary department at Philips de Pury & Co. He guessed that Taylor's death would bring a renewed interest to the piece, but that its artistry makes it valuable on its own.

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