The first sale was so successful that it became an annual event. Each subsequent auction has generated robust sales figures, with work from famed LGBTQ+ artists fetching up to five times their estimated sale price.
In previews for the sale, Lowry highlighted three pieces he expected to generate interest from dealers and collectors alike, stressing that estimated sales figures might be on the low end if past precedent was any indication.
The first is a rare historical document: An ink-on-cardboard placard with the words “Homosexuals Are American Citizens Also” (estimated at $4,000 to $6,000). The poster is believed to be from the Annual Reminders, a series of marches that took place between 1965 and 1969 in Philadelphia.
“The placard is a good example of the fact that we don’t just have art up for auction in this sale, we aim to offer anything associated with the history of the LGBTQ+ community,” Lowry said. “This placard is an incredibly important historical document from the gay rights era. It also happens to be incredibly rare.”
A second item up for sale is a deluxe first edition of Oscar Wilde’s only novel, The Picture of Dorian Gray (estimated at $25,000 to $35,000), one of just 250 original copies signed by the author. The book was re-bound in modern full red morocco by Robert Wu in 2019.