David Rockefeller was more than just the grandson of John D. Rockefeller, America's first billionaire. He became, over his long lifetime, one of America's most significant collectors of art with his wife Peggy. Before he died last year, at 101, the family agreed that on his death the entire collection will be sold - roughly 1,500 works, ranging from Matisses and Picassos, modern masters, porcelain, and much, much more.
The value of the Rockefeller collection is largely due to their ability to buy the very best works of art that were available on the market for two or three generations. So in this collection are the most important examples by Picasso, Matisse, Miro, that anybody has seen in 30 or 40 years. It will be a test of the art market, in terms at the very top of the market. Because we haven't seen objects like this for so many decades. So it's impossible for us to predict where the values will be. This painting, which is the most famous in the collection, doesn't have a printed estimate. It is so rare and so important that we haven't put a published estimate. We are giving guidance that it should sell for about $100 million dollars, but we're simply not certain.
Christie's has taken the highlights of this collection from London to Paris to Beijing. It's launched a marketing campaign like we've never really seen before. Now, it just comes down to the vagaries of the art market and the auction room itself to decide whether this could be the first billion sale the art world has ever seen.