Auction Results

£2 million Layla painting tops Pattie Boyd sale


Cover image of Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs by Eric Clapton.

The painting from the Eric Clapton album Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs realised nearly £2 million to top a sale of Pattie Boyd’s personal collection in London.

Bidders battled over the art work to push it up to 33-times its estimated range of £40,000 to £60,000. It closed at £1,976,000.

The painting, Le Jeunne Fille au Bouquet (Girl with a bouquet) by French artist Emile Théodore Frandsen de Schomberg, was bought by Eric Clapton and gifted to Boyd. Clapton used it as the front cover image on the 1970 album, recorded with the “super group” Derek and the Dominoes.

Pattie Boyd married Beatle George Harrison after meeting him in 1964 on the set of A Hard Day’s Night, in which she appeared as a schoolgirl fan of the Beatles.

This telegram from Clapton to Boyd made £12,000, around 12-times its estimate. Image courtesy of Christie’s.

Clapton, a friend of Harrison, became obsessed with her, and their triangular relationship is one of the most famous of its type.

Layla was written for her by Clapton, who married her in 1978.

Boyd sold her personal collection through Christie’s of London, realising £3 million in total, well over the estimated sale value.

A rather desperate letter from Clapton to Boyd from 1971 sold for around £120,000 against a top estimate of £15,000.

“For nothing more than the pleasures past I would sacrifice my family, my god, and my own existence,” Clapton pleaded in the letter, written on a page ripped from a copy of Of Mice and Men.

“Am I a poor love, am I ugly, am I too weak, too strong, do you know why?” he pleads.

Clapton’s language was so intemperate that Boyd initially believed the letter to be the work of an obsessed fan.

After the sale Boyd said: “I am completely blown away by the enthusiasm of international bidders for these special treasures that I have always loved.

“I am so happy that new hearts will now enjoy them, as they enter into their next chapters.

“I am lucky that my life today continues to bring me joy and different adventures – I would encourage people to follow their passions and live their lives with gusto.”

This was a unique collection.

Anything linked to The Beatles will attract enormous interest at auction. The famous love triangle that Boyd was part of no doubt added interest to this sale and value to the top items.

Just Collecting