Three world auction records set at Bonhams' 'Made in California: Contemporary Art Auction'

Made in California
Contemporary Art, featuring Works from the Betty and Monte Factor Family Collection
3 Oct 2012
Los Angeles

Los Angeles – Bonhams was honoured to feature works from the Betty and Monte Factor Family Collection in a single owner section of its semi-annual "Made in California: Contemporary Art" auction on October 3. The sale brought more than $1.45 million against its 968,000 pre-sale estimate. Highlights included three new world auction records from Factor Family Collection for works by Ed Bereal, Billy Al Bengston and Hassel Smith. Additional pieces from the single owner section took top spots in the auction with many of the lots far surpassing their pre-sale estimates.

Sharon Goodman Squires, Director of the "Made in California: Contemporary Art" Department at Bonhams, said of the sale: "The enormous success of this auction indicates the current strength in the market for Post-War Southern California Contemporary Art. Bonhams is the only international auction house with a dedicated sale category in the area of California Contemporary Art and is clearly the market leader."

Highlights from the Betty and Monte Factor Family Collection included an early Larry Bell cube from 1962-63 (est. $40,000-60,000, sold for $98,500); a mixed media assemblage titled "Focke-Wulf FW 109" by Ed Bereal from 1960, a new world auction record for the artist (est. $2,000-3,000, sold for $80,500); a mixed media assemblage titled "Sleepy's Hollow with Handle and Wheels" by Edward Kienholz from 1962 (est. $50,000-70,000, sold for $62,500); an oil on canvas painting titled "Bloke with the Bowler" by William Nelson Copley from 1962 (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $43,750); an untitled painting by Billy Al Bengston from 1962, a new world auction record for the artist (est. $7,000-9,000, sold for $ 40,000); an oil on masonite work titled "Cow" by Llyn Foulkes from 1963 (est. $5,000-7,000, sold for $ 40,000) and an oil on canvas titled "Number 4," by Hassel Smith from 1952 (est. $10,000-15,000, sold for $27,500), a new world auction record for the artist.

Betty and Monte Factor were well known patrons of postwar Los Angeles artists and galleries and their collection represents a remarkable commitment to art that questioned and satirised the status quo. The Factors were inspired by and in turn supported artists who investigated the social and cultural conflicts of the time.

Additional highlights from the October 3 sale included an acrylic on canvas on panel work titled "Fortune" by Charles A. Arnoldi from 2000 (est. $15,000-20,000, sold for $50,000); an acrylic on canvas work by Richard Pettibone titled "Roy Lichtenstein's Hopeless, 1963 and Drowning Girl, 1963, 1965" (est. $25,000-35,000, sold for $47,500) and an oil on canvas titled "Point View" by John McCracken (est. $30,000-40,000, sold for $43,750).

"Made in California: Contemporary Art" sales will continue in the spring and fall of 2013. For more information about this sale category please visit:


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to

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