Lauren Bacall art collection up for sale in New York

The art collection of late Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, seen here (above) in a 2005 file photo, will go on sale in New York next year. The collection includes work by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century and is worth an estimated US$3
The art collection of late Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, seen here (above) in a 2005 file photo, will go on sale in New York next year. The collection includes work by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century and is worth an estimated US$3 million (S$3.8 million). -- PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (AFP) - The art collection of late Hollywood legend Lauren Bacall, which includes work by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century and is worth an estimated US$3 million (S$3.8 million), will go on sale in New York next year.

Auction house Bonhams said that many of the lots in the 700-piece collection amassed by Bacall graced the Los Angeles home she shared with first husband and legendary co-star Humphrey Bogart.

The paintings, sculptures, tribal art and jewellery will be offered for sale at its New York saleroom in March 2015.

Bacall, one of Hollywood's great golden age actresses, died in August after suffering a stroke at her home in New York. She was 89.

Bonhams said the highlights of the collection are eight sculptures by Henry Moore, Britain's greatest 20th century sculptor, two of which will be sold separately next month.

Bacall had a deep admiration for the British artist and claimed to have been star-struck when she visited his studio in the English village of Much Hadham in Hertfordshire just outside London.

"The operator said Henry Moore was on the phone. I could not believe it. I said, 'Is that really Henry Moore?' and he said, 'Is that really Lauren Bacall?'" she said of their first conversation.

Bacall met Bogart while filming her 1944 screen debut To Have And Have Not and the couple married the following year. She was grief-stricken when he died from cancer in 1957.

Besides items from the home she shared with Bogart, other art in the collection graced her former home on Long Island and her apartment overlooking Central Park, Bonhams said.

Included in the estate auction are contemporary prints, English and French 18th and 19th century furniture, tribal works of art, jewellery, couture and Louis Vuitton luggage, the auction house said.

Bonhams said her interest in African art developed when she was on location with Bogart while he filmed The African Queen, for which he won an Oscar in 1952.