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Sir Elton auction is a big hit.

An auction of the contents of Elton John's London home got under way yesterday with a 16th century painting selling for pounds 54,000.

The portrait of Elizabeth Honeywood, from the Circle of William Larkin and thought to have been painted between 1580-1619, was one of 400 lots up for grabs at the sale at Sotheby's in London. Sir Elton decided to auction the contents of his Holland Park home so he can redecorate along more contemporary lines.

The furnishings are surprisingly restrained for the flamboyant star -except for the faux leopardskin upholstery in the bedroom.

He started building up the collection in the early 1990s, and it holds emotional memories for Sir Elton who was battling against drug and alcohol addiction at that time.

One big-spending buyer paid pounds 31,200 for an enamel miniature of Thomas Howard, third Duke of Norfolk, which was expected to sell for pounds 5,000-pounds 6,000.

Another buyer picked up three wooden photo frames designed by Royal furniture maker David Linley for pounds 540.

Fans with smaller purses were able to snap up a memento with the cheapest selling item, a small bronze 19th century bowl which sold for pounds 180.

The sale rooms at Sotheby's, previewed last week, had been remodelled to reflect the layout of the rooms in the house which Sir Elton shares with his long-term partner David Furnish.

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Sotheby's sale room is reflected in one of a pair of mirrors, a lot in the sale of Elton John's possessions
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 1, 2003
Words:253
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