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Bought for $100, a rare Andy Warhol drawing of Queen Elizabeth could fetch thousands at CT auction

A drawing of Queen Elizabeth II by pop artist Andy Warhol goes up for auction in Connecticut at the end of December. Originally found in the back room of an estate sale in California, the drawing was purchased for $100.

“It looks like whoever was running the sale didn’t recognize it for what it was,” said Ryan Brechlin, whose Nest Egg Auctions house will be selling the piece. “[They] had it stacked up in a back room. She picked it up and said “How much?” And they said “a hundred dollars.”

Drawing of Queen Elizabeth II had two stamps of authenticity from the Warhol estate on the back of the piece, and Brechlin expects the owner will get a nice return on her investment.

“Because it is so simple - it’s just a line drawing of red crayon on brown paper, the fact that it is real, and it’s authentic and no one has to question whether or not he did it,” Brechlin said. “It’s a double whammy - cross collectability, having an Andy Warhol and something that’s Queen Elizabeth really drives the value up.”

Brechlin believes Warhol drew the Queen’s likeness in the late 1970s or early 1980s, as part of his larger work, "Reigning Queens" a 1985 series of 16 screen prints depicting four monarchs who were ruling at that time.

Brechlin expects the drawing to fetch at least $10,000, and maybe even more than $20,000, when it goes up for auction on Saturday, Dec. 31 at Nest Egg Auctions in Plantsville.

Ray Hardman is Connecticut Public’s Arts and Culture Reporter. He is the host of CPTV’s Emmy-nominated original series Where Art Thou? Listeners to Connecticut Public Radio may know Ray as the local voice of Morning Edition, and later of All Things Considered.
Matthew Long-Middleton has helped shape Connecticut Public's broadcast and digital reporting, producing and writing since the fall of 2022.