Minor's art: Collection might raise $30 million-- but not all for him

news-halseyminorartNurse in Hollywood #4, says the auction catalog [pdf], "is not only the most important painting from this series but is also one of Prince’s most glamorous, direct, and stunning ones."

Paintings and highly-stylized furnishings owned by embattled internet millionaire and downtown Charlottesville hotel-maker Halsey Minor will hit the auction block next week. It's a court-ordered sale of his property to satisfy a multi-million judgment against him in a collections lawsuit by a division of Merrill Lynch.

Trish Walsh, the marketing manager for New York art auction house Phillips de Pury & Company, says the Halsey Minor collection is expected to bring $20.3 to $29.7 million via three separate auctions, with the priciest piece being Hollywood Nurse #4, a 2004 painting by Richard Prince carrying a pre-auction estimate of $5-7 million.

Minor concedes that Merrill–- whom he casts as an evil-doer for allegedly panicking and putting a hold on his accounts during the fall 2008 financial meltdown–- gets to keep the first $21.6 million.

"The extra proceeds," notes Minor, "go to me."

Although Minor may not be allowed to put his hands on all the money garnered from the sale of his collection, it was he who successfully pressed the court to let Phillips de Pury handle the auction. And 'twas he who possesses such a love of contemporary art and design that the auction catalog claims he has an "addiction to this nectar, to put together one of the most formidable collections of Marc Newson and Ed Ruscha."

Newsom will be represented with three pieces including a fluid, futuristic chaise called "Lockheed Lounge," which Minor purchased just a year ago for a design record-setting price of $1.6 million. There are also three Ruschas in the collection, including Angry Because It’s Plaster Not Milk, a 1965 painting that may fetch as much as $3 million.

The May 13 sale is an evening event focusing solely on the most expensive items in Minor's collection while other works will appear the following day in a larger, multi-collector auction, with the final works going up for sale June 9, according to Walsh.

Read more on: halsey minor


I think (from an earlier Hook article?) that Phillip de Pury was paying Halsey 108% of proceeds? [auction houses typically tack on anywhere from 10-20% buyers premium and the extra 8% would presumably come out of that]so 21.05 mil x 1.08 = $22,734,000.00. If ML was smart, their lien covered any money PdP held on behalf of Minor (sale proceeds + Halsey's "commission" for bringing his collection to them), in which case ML is now whole. If they weren't smart, Halsey pocketed that extra couple mil and still owes ML the kind of money he used to find in his couch cushions, but has been scarce recently.

nice way of putting it angel eyes. If it weren't for the fact that one of these vignettes resulted in a massive eyesore in the middle of our little town, no one would care about this latest 'riches to rags' story.....

Someone should tell the State of California. Then they can lien, attach or garnish the rest of the proceeds. Its not like they're going to go to finishing the hotel anyway.

Yeah, California needs the money. I emailed Hawes the Chronicle link but he didn't include the money quote:

A number of media stories on high-priced auctions this week have been of the "art market heats up" variety. Rather than, in Minor's case, "beleaguered debtors, pursued by creditors, are forced to divest themselves of their valuable collections."

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2010/05/05/BUBO1D9GC7.D...

Oh, and it looks like Minor bought the chair for $1.6 million. I read it as $16 million and thought that he was going to take a beating.

panicking is spelled with one "n".

@Elizabeth: Thanks. Have corrected.--hawes spencer, journalist

What a creepy painting...

Back to an earlier comment Minor made about his tax delinquency bill laying to rest any rumors that he did not make a boat ton of money in 2008, how on earth would he not be able to pay some of that down? I mean he says that Merrill Lynch illegally placed a hold on his account, but why would he have all of the $50 million or so he claims he made in 2008, in one Merrill Lynch account anyway? And even if he did, how would Merrill's move to freeze his account be illegal, considering he abrogated his agreement with the bank anyway?

The fact that he claims the enormity of his tax bill proves he made a ton of money doesn't mean anything in the eyes of the law. He probably blew through it like he has in the past and thinks he is above the law.

Not a good week for over entitled punks, young or old....

Perhaps after his creditors are satisfied perhaps Minor can finished his huge failed erection on the downtown mall.

I think we all know there's a whole story yet to be told, and all these things are vignettes of the story. It's always intriguing when someone "wins the lottery" and proceeds on a self ruining course that leads him to eventual penury. The mind wonders how someone can "have it all" and still totally screw the pooch.

Who wants to bet that the auction won't even raise enough to satisfy the judgment?

Don't know how the auction went overall, only caught the last item, Long, Stormy, 1995 by Ed Ruscha estimated to go for $800,000 to 1.2 mil, it sold for $700,000. If thats any indication, Halsey may have to dig a little deeper to get ML off his back.

From Bloomberg -

"The Minor section brought in $21.05 million, which will go toward a $21.6 million judgment obtained by ML Private Finance, a Bank of America affiliate, on a delinquent loan to Minor. The entire auction is expected to take in as much as $48.4 million."