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Bowie’s Secret to Stardom? A Red Typewriter Called Valentine

Lot 401, Sottsass and King, 'Valentine' Portable Typewriter

Lot 401, Sottsass and King, 'Valentine' Portable Typewriter

If you’ve ever wondered about the secret behind David Bowie’s musical ingenuity, then look no further than a red typewriter called Valentine up for grabs alongside 350 other items at  Sotheby’s in an auction titled, Bowie/CollectorDesigned by Italian Ettore Sottsass for Olivetti, Bowie said of the inspiration he derived from bashing out his lyrics on it.

It started with a red typewriter, a beautiful thing produced by Olivetti. I typed up many of my lyrics on that. The pure gorgeousness of it made me type as much as my need to get the songs down on paper. I couldn’t not look at it. I heard that this guy Ettore Sottsass had designed it.DAVID BOWIE

The three-part sale comprises works from the private collection of the legendary musician who passed away in January. At the heart of of the sale is a remarkable group of more than 200 works by many of the most important British artists of the 20th Century, including Frank Auerbach, Damien Hirst, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland.

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 01:  Atmosphere during the public exhibition of the personal Art Colelction of David Bowie 'Bowie/Collector' at Southerby's, New Bond Street on November 1, 2016 in London, England.  (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim Whitby/ Getty Images for Sotherbys)

A public exhibition of the personal art collection of David Bowie ‘Bowie/Collector’ at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street on November 1, 2016 in London, England | Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Tim Whitby/ Getty Images

Bowie’s famously inquisitive mind also led him to collect Outsider Art, Surrealism and Contemporary African art, as well as various pieces by Italian designer Sottsass and the Memphis group. His diverse tastes nurtured his extensive archive of important works from celebrated, and less widely-known, artists in a collection of unparalleled eclecticism. Just as he had projected in his body of work.

Bowie/Collector sale is at Sotheby’s, New Bond Street from 11 – 12 November 2016.

www.sothebys.com

 

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