Bond's art collection fetches pounds 2m

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The Independent Online
CHRISTIE'S in Melbourne, Australia, has sold 60 Australian paintings amassed by Alan Bond, the bankrupt tycoon who once headed a pounds 3.1bn brewing and property empire and bid pounds 33m for Van Gogh's Irises.

Early convict landscapes were included in a selection of 60 pictures once owned by Mr Bond, who recently received a prison sentence for dishonest behaviour.

They were among personal investments held by a company called Dallhold Investments and brought to auction by the official liquidator. The sale total - pounds 2.23m (Ausdollars 5.75m), which topped the pounds 2m upper estimate - will go towards repaying Dallhold's estimated pounds 188m debts.

Mr Bond, who was declared bankrupt in April, lost his Irises in 1990, when he was unable to repay Sotheby's substantial loan towards the auction price. It was sold to the Getty Museum.

The saleroom was packed, and several works vastly exceeded pre-sale estimates. Roger McIlroy, managing director of Christie's Australia, said he expected 'souvenir hunters' wanting to own a part of the fallen Bond empire.

Christie's London saleroom will offer Renoir's Guitar Player, 1897, from the Dallhold collection for sale; it has a pounds 1.5m estimate.