Gloves used for world’s most expensive painting sold for nearly £7,000
A pair of gloves worn by the artist Francis Bacon while painting one of the world’s most expensive paintings has sold for just under £7,000.
Bacon, who was born in Dublin, used the gloves while working on Three Studies of Lucien Freud. The oil on canvas triptych sold for £89 million in 2013 and was the highest price attained at an auction for an artwork until it was surpassed by a Picasso in 2015.
The two left-handed gloves, accompanied by a note from art teacher Bateson Mason, the man who found them and confirmed their authenticity, fetched £6,960 at Chiswick Auctions. The winning bidder, who is a private collector, saw off “frenzied competition” to secure the lot and paid £40 less than the high end of the pre-sale estimate.
Jan Leman, the specialist in charge of the sale, said: “We are delighted that we had so much interest in the gloves, from both private collectors and British institutions.
“However, it isn’t surprising, as they are a tangible link to one of the greatest artists of our time and wherever they go from here they will be treasured accordingly.”
The cotton, elasticated gloves show an accumulation of oil paint deposits used in the famous work, with evidence of brush wiping and incidental test mixing of pigment. Bacon was actually right-handed, but as part of his studio method he would wear a glove on his left hand to clean his brush on as he worked. He was born in the heart of Georgian Dublin to English parents.
He spent most of his life in London, but also worked in Paris, Berlin and Monte Carlo. Known for his bold, grotesque, emotionally charged and raw imagery, his works have consistently commanded high prices at auctions.