Major prices: For Minor art, as Nurse sells for $6.5 million
The contemporary collection of embattled art collector/hotel maker Halsey Minor touched off a Thursday night bidding war and brought in nearly enough to satisfy the claim against him by Merrill Lynch, the financial firm that won a $21.6 million judgment against him last year.
The pre-sale estimate for the May 13 event was $16.3-23.9 million with another $3.0-5.9 million left to sell in two additional auctions. The first of these, May 14, brought an additional $3 million; the latter is slated for June 9.
But because Minor is under a court order to pay the Sotheby's auction house $6.64 million, he may be hoping the latter sales exceed estimates. Meanwhile, in the state of California, where Minor is the top tax delinquent, a trial is underway on issues between him and the Christie's auction house. Minor, whose business successes are legion (he co-founded Cnet, funded salesforce.com and the predecessor to GoogleVoice and more recently scored with Scout Labs and OpenDNS), traces his liquidity issues to Merrill, a company now part of Bank of America but which he he vows to eventually own.
–story updated Tuesday, May 18 to include results of May 14 auction also.