Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Eight things worth $140-million besides a Francis Bacon painting

As art aficionados will know, a triptych by artist Francis Bacon was recently auctioned off for $142.4-million (U.S.) – significantly more than had been predicted. The sale went down in a frenzied six minutes, and set a new record for the most expensive artwork ever sold at an auction.  Now, yes, the Three Studies of Lucian Freud, painted by Bacon in 1969, is considered a masterpiece. As Will Gompertz, BBC's arts editor explained, "It's unique, it's very high quality and from an extremely famous period in the artist's life."

But worth more than a whopping $140-million? Here's a sampling of what else has been valued at the same amount:

Jeff Roberson/AP

Your very own hockey team

The Phoenix Coyotes were purchased in 2009 for $140-million. You can even give the team a spot on your wall, just like the Bacon, via a flatscreen TV on game night.
Keith Bedford/Reuters

A celebrity collection

Debate the artistic quality, but for the price of a triple-Bacon, you could get one Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and Zooey Deschanel, or for arguably the more high-maintenance choice, four Tom Cruises.

Your own superhero movie

The original Spiderman movie, directed by Sam Raimi, cost the Bacon triptych to produce and made back a whole lot more. Of course, you could also get an After Earth starring Will Smith (and save $10-million) but that’s a decidedly less super option.
Lucas Jackson/Reuters

Not one, not two, but 63 newspapers

Warren Buffet put up a Bacon-sized amount of cash for a chain of daily and weekly newspapers in the U.S. Southeast.

The return on a penny-stock fraud

In August, four Canadians were arrested for their role in a massive stock fraud that bilked investors of more than $140-million. If only they pooled their money, the victims of the fraud could have hung the Bacon on a museum wall, and watched a safer investment grow in value. 
Stephen Chernin/Reuters

Kevin Spacey, for two-and-a-half seasons

Netflix is spending $100-million on two 13-episode seasons of Spacey’s political drama, House of Cards.
Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Canada’s first urban park

Ottawa has promised to spend $143.7-million over the next 10 years to create a new national park in the Greater Toronto Area.

The most expensive house in the United States

For the price of the Bacon, the painting’s buyers could now be living at the Copper Beach Farm, a 50-acres Greenwich estate in Connecticut. That’s actually a deal – the price has come down since it first hit the market at $190-million. The 15,000-square-foot home also comes with formal gardens, an apple orchard and a 75-foot-long heated swimming pool.
Report an error Licensing Options

The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Combined Shape Created with Sketch.

Thank you!

You are now subscribed to the newsletter at

You can unsubscribe from this newsletter or Globe promotions at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of the newsletter, or by emailing us at