Auction Results

Elton John Bentley surprises as star of music auction


A Black Bentley Continental owned by Elton John.
Image courtesy of Christie's.

The stand-out sale in an auction of the contents of one of Elton John’s homes was a car. The Bentley Continental realised $441,000 (£350,000), around 18-times the low-estimate before the sale. 

It was not the most expensive item in the $8 million sale, one of the early highlights of 2024’s auction calendar, but set a world price record for the model. 

The car went into the sale with an estimate of $25,000 to $35,000 (around £20,000 to £28,000), which seemed low according to experts.

The two-door sports car is a hell of a vehicle.

John bought it in 1992, and loved it so much that his famously extravagant lifestyle extended to shipping it back and forth across the Atlantic. 

He told Christie’s: “When I first bought the black Bentley Continental in the 1990’s, I was astonished by the beauty of the car. I also loved its sexy dark walnut interior and exquisite detailing. And the smell.”

It even smells good according to its very careful previous owner, Elton John. Image courtesy of Christie’s.

It seems that wherever Elton laid his hats – and the weather was right – the Bentley was part of his life. He described driving it on the French Riviera, in Los Angeles, and Atlanta. 

Twenty-four bidders battled to win the black car from him. 

The previous top price for a comparable model was just shy of $300,000 for a 1994 Continental IV in 2022. 

The Christie’s New York sale was a house-clearance. 

It included musical instruments (a grand piano for over $200,000); jewellery (a Cartier asymmetrical watch for $277,000 against an estimate of $25,000), and photography (a Robert Maplethorpe picture for $157,000). 

Banksy sold this piece directly to John. Image courtesy of Christie’s.

A Banksy piece, the Flower Thrower Triptych, was the best performing art piece on sale, raising around £1.5 million ($1.9 million) against a much more accurate estimate of $1.5 million (that doesn’t include house fees). 

A Keith Haring painting made $¾ million. 

Throughout the sale prices went over estimates. 

Tash Perrin, deputy chairman for Christie’s Americas, used a press release to say: “The view from the rostrum this evening was fantastic; with an incredible energy in the room and outstanding activity online. 

“It was a privilege to auction Elton John’s inspiring collection. We were thrilled with the results of tonight’s top lot: the Banksy Flower Thrower Triptych which exceeded the high estimate. We were also delighted to see so many lots far surpassing their high estimate with objects ranging from a Versace dinner service set to EJ monogrammed boots.” 

Experts reckon it’s the star name that boosts the value of a car like the Continental to well over its simple resale value. Tracking the sale of John’s cars against auction guides gives them a 115% premium over the “standard” price. This one went further though, going 372% over the Hagerty Price Guide value. Quite a mark up.

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