Moments ago at Sothebys
in London, a monumental work by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, charting every England footballing defeat since 1874, sold for £425,000 / 596,230. The sculpture was sold to an anonymous collector bidding over the telephone via a French-speaking member of Sothebys staff.
This was one of 50 works offered in tonights hotly anticipated Bear Witness sale, which together brought a total of £26.5 million, well in excess of pre-sale expectations.
Stretching from Scotlands 2-1 defeat of England in Glasgow in 1874 to Romanias 2-1 victory at the 1998 World Cup, this monumental work lists all the ignominious moments the national team has suffered over the years etched on black granite, like an epitaph on a memorial. The monument was created by the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan, enfant terrible of the art world, known for his satirical and humorous sculptures. Cattelans other well-known works include La Nona Ora (The Ninth Hour) which depicts Pope John Paul II being struck down by a meteorite.
The Italian artist first exhibited the football monument at an exhibition in London in 1999 and its sale at Sothebys follows Englands worst ever performance at a football World Cup in 2014 (including losses to Italy and Uruguay).
The untitled work was sold this evening as part of Bear Witness an extraordinary single-owner collection of nearly 550 paintings, sculpture and works of art. The remainder of the collection will be sold on 11th and 12th March in London.