Sold: The James Bond star
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A Picasso painting owned by Sir Sean Connery has sold for £17.7million at auction with proceeds set to help causes in Scotland and the Bahamas.

The late James Bond star’s family put the artwork up for sale to raise funds for the Sean Connery Philanthropic Fund.

It will donate money to good causes in Scotland and the Bahamas, where the star lived with his wife Micheline for more than 30 years.

Edinburgh-born Sir Sean bought Buste d’homme dans un cadre a few years before his death aged 90 in October 2020.

The 1969 painting was sold in Hong Kong yesterday by auction house Christie’s and had been expected to fetch at least £15million.

Auctioneer Georgina Hilton wore a Bond-style tuxedo in tribute to 007 and described the painting as ‘sensational’.

Sold: The James Bond star's family put the work up for auction after his request a philanthropic trust be set up in his name after his death. Pictured: Picasso's Buste d'homme dans un cadre

Sold: The James Bond star's family put the work up for auction after his request a philanthropic trust be set up in his name after his death. Pictured: Picasso's Buste d'homme dans un cadre

Sold: The James Bond star’s family put the work up for auction after his request a philanthropic trust be set up in his name after his death. Pictured: Picasso’s Buste d’homme dans un cadre

The bidding started at £10million and received five offers before attracting a final price of £17.7million, including the buyer’s premium.

The most expensive Picasso ever sold at auction was Les femmes d’Alger (Version ‘O’) with sold for $179.4million or £142million in 2015.

Speaking before the sale, his stepson Stephane Connery, an art adviser, said: ‘Sean had an extraordinary sense of aesthetics, composition and movement honed by his career in a visual medium as well as his long marriage to Micheline, a fine and internationally exhibited painter.

‘He loved and owned numerous works by Picasso, and upon seeing ‘Buste d’homme dans un cadre’ he was captivated by its expressive power and freedom.

Sir Sean's stepson Stephane Connery, an art adviser, said that the star had an 'extraordinary sense of aesthetics'

Sir Sean's stepson Stephane Connery, an art adviser, said that the star had an 'extraordinary sense of aesthetics'

Sir Sean’s stepson Stephane Connery, an art adviser, said that the star had an ‘extraordinary sense of aesthetics’

‘It seems fitting that this work would be sold in Asia as Sean had a tremendous affinity for Asia and its culture.’

He added: ‘Before Sean passed away in 2020, he allocated a sizeable portion of his estate to be used for philanthropic purposes.

‘We – his family – are now working to create a fund that will offer support to organisations that reflect Sean’s interests and passions, and serve to keep his legacy of integrity, opportunity and effectiveness alive.

‘These efforts will be focused in Scotland, where Sean was born, and the Bahamas, where he lived for over 30 years and adored like his homeland.’

The painting is one of Spanish artist Picasso’s musketeer portraits and is described by art experts as ‘one of the finest and most striking of the artist’s paintings from the last decade of his life.’

Adrien Meyer, Co-Chairman of Impressionist and Modern Art at Christie’s, said: ‘It is a privilege for Christie’s to have been entrusted by the family of Sir Sean Connery with the sale of this fabulous Picasso self-portrait.

‘No wonder is it that a titan of the film industry was drawn to this tour de force by the greatest modern art titan of all.

‘This is simply one of the best works by the artist of his late period to ever come to market.’

Oscar-winner Connery died peacefully in his sleep at home following a battle with dementia in October 2020.

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