News | January 27, 2024

Velvet Underground, David Wojnarowicz, and Patti Smith at Subculture Sale

Swann Galleries

Items from The Subculture Sale

Swann Galleries' auction brings works from the fringe, the avant garde and the indie for a look at the material culture of punk, rock, psych, hip hop, and jazz. 

An interdisciplinary sale, this auction will include posters, records, photographs, fine art, autographs, books and ephemera.

Highlights include:

  • a letter from Patti Smith which features drawings and namedrops Robert Mapplethorpe ($1,000-1,500)
  • issues of Cheap Date magazine ($400-600)
  • posters for Dr. Dre ($500-750) and Sonic Youth ($600-900)
  • a group of 12 albums by The Velvet Underground & Nico ($7,000-10,000), and a signed early pressing and issue of their first album produced by Andy Warhol ($5,000-7,500)

“Swann is excited to be able to bring this eclectic, unexpected, and seldom-encountered selection of material to market," said Nicholas D. Lowry, Swann president. "In many ways, we are offering a living history in this auction. Subcultural relics and societal items from within, or not so much longer ago than, our own lifetimes, a timeframe underserved by the auction community. Our thanks to Boo Hooray Gallery, who helped co-curate this collection of ephemeral fragments and inspirational steppingstones.”

The sale is a timed online auction, bidding is already open and will begin closing on February 8 at 12 pm Eastern. Bidding is available on the Swann Galleries App, and via desktop on