Lot 225
  • 225

Andy Warhol

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
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  • Andy Warhol
  • Dollar Sign
  • signed and dated 81 on the overlap
  • acrylic and silkscreen ink on canvas
  • 25.5 by 20cm.; 10 by 7 7/8 in.


Martin Lawrence, Beverly Hills
Jem Alexander Galerie, Westchester
Sale: Sotheby’s, New York, Contemporary Art, Part II, 5 November 1987, Lot 167
Acquired directly from the above by the present owner 


Colours: The colours in the catalogue illustration are fairly accurate, although the green and red hues are more vibrant, with the background tending more towards a light mint green in the original. Condition: This work is in very good condition. Very close inspection reveals a few tiny tension cracks along the lower extreme edge. Further close inspection reveals a few faint and unobtrusive rub marks in isolated places, and a small network of hairline cracks towards the lower centre. No restoration is apparent when examined under ultraviolet light.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

To the Bearer on Demand: Warhol and the Art of Money.

“I have a Fantasy about Money: I’m walking down the street and I hear somebody say – in a whisper – ‘There goes the richest person in the world.’” 

Andy Warhol, The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B and Back Again), New York and London 1975, p. 135.

 “ONE SILVER DOLLAR PAYABLE TO THE BEARER ON DEMAND” reads the front of the silver certificate dollar bill as immortalised within the history of American currency. Collectively presented under this very rubric, Sotheby’s is the bearer of an extraordinary collection that demands recognition as the ultimate assembly of Andy Warhol's dollar paintings in existence. Beyond the scope and quality of any other private or publically owned collection, these museum-calibre works together present a picture of Warhol’s career at its most primal, focussing as they do on the most rudimentary of Warholian values: money. From his very first painting of a dollar bill and very first silkscreened works, through to two major works from the 1981 series of Dollar Signs, this collection elucidates Warhol the great draughtsman and painter, Warhol the great social leveller and provocateur, and Warhol the grand master of sign and symbol. Brought together with great determination by the present owner – a feat almost certainly impossible today owing to the pedigree, rarity, and museum status of these paintings and their sister pieces – the Warholian core of the present collection is utterly unmatched anywhere in the world. Never before has such an assemblage of works been exhibited together, let alone presented together for public sale. Following Warhol’s lead, works by Keith Haring, Tim Noble & Sue Webster, Joseph Beuys, Arman, Gustave Buchet, Francesco Clemente, Ronnie Cutrone, Scott Campbell, Cildo Meireles, Robert Silvers, Jin Wang and Liu Zheng further underline the US dollar’s symbolic stake at the forefront of the global dialogue between culture and capital. Acquired over the course of two decades and assembled with an acutely discerning eye, these works communicate the archetypal power of the US dollar as perhaps the most widely recognised and potent symbol in the world today. With Warhol at its very epicentre, To the Bearer on Demand takes a glance at the relationship between art and commerce of the last 50 years, and wears a wry smile in the face of a society characterised by the famous cliché: cash is king.