5 Artworks That Should Fetch Millions But Never Will

On Wednesday, Sotheby's set a new world price record for art sales, bringing in $44.6 million each for Roy Lichtenstein's Pop Art painting Sleeping Girl and Figure Writing Reflected in a Mirror by British artist Francis Bacon.

A total of 46 pieces were sold for a combined $266.6 million, including a $37.04 million sale of Double Elvis [Ferus Type], Andy Warhol's silkscreen and paint portrait of The King.

Of course, all three artists are dead and won't get to enjoy the fat stacks. No surprise since that's how these things tend to work.

Because these blockbuster sales are an inexact science -- it's not easy to predict what's going to rake in millions -- here are five items that, for one reason or another, will never score a colossal sale.

5. Original Score for John Cage's 4'33"
Multiple scores exist for the controversial piece by the late avant-garde composer that dictates the playing of zero sounds for four minutes and 33 seconds. Though this would be a choice item for some, the original August 1952 Woodstock version of the silent composition is currently missing.

Sponsor Content


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >