Music divas are selling up treasured possessions to support worthy causes.
Madonna and Bette Midler have both put paintings up for auction in order to raise money for worthy causes, says Colin Gleadell.
By Colin Gleadell
10:18AM BST 16 Apr 2013
Sothebyâ€™s has announced that Madonna is to part with an important cubist painting by Fernand LÃ©ger she has owned for 23 years next month to support the Ray of Light Foundation, which is engaged in educational projects for girls in Afghanistan and Pakistan. She bought Les Trois Femmes Ã la table Rouge at Sothebyâ€™s New York for $3.4 million (Â£2.2 million), and it is now estimated to fetch between Â£3.3 million and Â£4.6 million).
Meanwhile, the â€œdivineâ€ Bette Midler has sent a painting to Bonhams in Edinburgh for sale this Wednesday. Rowans was painted in 1895 by George Henry, one of the Glasgow Boys, recently returned from Japan.
The Rowan tree was often called the Travellersâ€™ Tree in Scottish folklore, as it helped voyagers find their way, and was planted beside doors and gates to ward off witches.
Midler bought the painting in Scotland in 2001 for Â£45,000, and it is now on offer for Â£60,000 to Â£80,000. Bonhams could not say why Midler is selling, but last year she auctioned a quantity of jewellery and stage costumes to support the New York Restoration Project, which she founded to protect public spaces in New York.
Not to be outdone, the renowned broadcaster and nun Sister Wendy Beckett is to sell more than 120 ceramic works of art to benefit the Carmelite monastery in Quidenham, Norfolk, where she has lived in a caravan since the Seventies.
After she was discovered by the BBC in 1990, she became one of the most-travelled nuns in history, making friends as she went. They, in turn, discovered her passion for pottery, which she regarded as a supreme subject for divine contemplation, and showered her with gifts.
From ancient China, Meissen and Staffordshire, to Lucie Rie and contemporary potters, the collection is estimated to fetch over Â£10,000. â€œSince everything comes from generosity and has spent years in the small room where I pray, I think a blessing surrounds them,â€ said Sister Wendy. â€œI hope the blessing travels with them to their new homes.â€ The sale will be at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury on April 30.