Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Eliot widow's art trove sells for $11.3M at auction

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LONDON -- A trove of artwork collected by poet T.S. Eliot's widow has sold for more than 7 million pounds ($11.3 million) at auction.

Valerie Eliot, who died last November aged 86, bought the artworks with royalties from the hit Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Cats, which was based on her husband's volume of light verse Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats.

The collection auctioned Wednesday in London by Christie's included drawings and watercolours by 18th- and 19th-century British artists and sculptors including Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, and David Hockney.

A landscape by John Constable, Helmingham Dell, Suffolk, fetched 662,500 pounds -- a record for the artist at auction.

Proceeds from the auction will go to Old Possum's Practical Trust, an arts charity Valerie Eliot set up.

-- The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 22, 2013 D2

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