3.6.13

T. S. Eliot's widow's art to be auctioned

Artworks include pieces by Constable, Freud and Bacon
TS Eliot and his wife Valerie's apartment in London. Photograph: AP.
From Maev Kennedy (The Guardian):
Years after the death of TS Eliot, when the cunning, treacherous, and sometimes criminal felines of his Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats were transformed into the spectacularly successful musical Cats, the royalties allowed the poet's widow, Valerie, to amass a collection of art and antiques that could have graced a museum.

She collected works by John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, Stanley Spencer and LS Lowry, Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon, along with jewellery and furniture, portrait miniatures, and a flattering view by Winston Churchill of his host's front garden.

Valerie Eliot died last year, aged 86, and at her request her treasures – described as "one of the finest collections of British art to come to the market in generations" – are to be auctioned at Christie's in November. Proceeds from the sale, estimated at £5m, will be used to continue her work of encouraging young poets and artists through her charity, Old Possum's Practical Trust. [Read More]

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