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Andy Warhol's 'Double Elvis' sells for $37 million at auction

This undated image provided by Sotheby's shows Andy Warhol's portrait of Elvis Presley depicted as a cowboy. The silver silkscreen painting is called 'Double Elvis (Ferus Type).' (Courtesy of Sotheby's)

May 10, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Andy Warhol's "Double Elvis," which depicts the rock-and-roll heartthrob as a cowboy, sold for $37 million at Sotheby's contemporary art sale on Wednesday night.

The auction house said it was the first "Double Elvis" to appear on the market since 1995. Warhol produced a series of 22 images of Elvis, nine of which are in museum collections.

The silver silkscreen image of Elvis Presley - which shows the legendary musician armed and shooting from the hip, with a shadowy Elvis figure faintly visible in the background - was expected to sell for $30 million to $50 million. It was offered for sale by a private American collector, who acquired it in 1977.

According to the New York Times, the buyer was dealer Jose Mugrabi, who reportedly once had the "world's largest private stash" of Warhol paintings.

Also sold at the auction were Roy Lichtenstein's "Sleeping Girl" for $44,882,500, Ai Weiwei's handmade porcelain "Sunflower Seeds" for $782,500 and Francis Bacon's "Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror" for $44,882,500.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.