For those looking for action on the star lot in Sotheby’s May 2 sale of Impressionist and modern works in New York, Ladbrokes betting service has provided an alternative way to be part of the excitement. The London-based gambling company has been taking bets on the final price for an 1895 version of Norwegian artist Edvard Munch’s iconic “The Scream.”
UK bookies predict the odds are 6/4 that “The Scream” fetches between $100-150 million, above the $80 million auction estimate. This range would break the record currently held by Picasso's “Nude, Green Leaves and Bust,” which sold for $106 million at a Christie’s auction in May 2010, making it the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.
There is a 3/1 chance the bidding war escalates to $200 million, according to the bookies. At this time, Ladbrokes has apparently ceased to take bets as they were exceeding limits.
Bets were also being placed on where the purchaser of the artwork would hail from. The odds-against favorite is Russia, with Asia and Europe tying for second; Africa and Antarctica are the long shots, with the Americas and Australia rounding out the field.
The bookies are also quoting 21/1 that “The Scream” will be stolen before bidding begins, most likely due to the fact that two versions of the painting have been the subject of high profile art heists.
Jessica Bridge of Ladbrokes said in a press release: "We're confident 'The Scream' will break auction records when it goes under the hammer. Hopefully the artwork makes it to New York in one piece."
(Report: Christine Bolli for ARTFIXdaily)