Under the Hammer: Top Prices Paid for Bob Dylan at Auction

Hotel At Night by Bob DylanHotel At Night © Bob Dylan 2019
Joe Syer

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Though the iconic singer-songwriter Bob Dylan has been producing art since the 1960s, his auction success has been a relatively recent accomplishment. While Dylan works across painting, printing, drawing and sculpture, it is his print series which have received the most attention at auction.

Here, we look to Dylan's top 10 record prices at auction to date.

Abstract nude by Bob DylanAbstract nude © Bob Dylan 1960

$100,000 for Abstract Nude

When Dylan's Abstract Nude appeared at Julien's Auctions in November 2022, the work fetched an impressive $100,000 (£84,736). The piece was sold at the auction house's Icons & Idols: Rock n' Roll sale, which brought together artworks and memorabilia by the biggest names in rock history. It is hardly surprising, then, that Dylan's most expensive work should be sold here, as the auction united art collectors and music fanatics alike.

18 May 1976, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma by Bob Dylan18 May 1976, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma © Bob Dylan 1976

£32,000 for 18 May 1976, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Dylan's second-most expensive artwork was sold earlier this year at Rosebery's in London. 8 May 1976, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, an early example of Dylan's fascination with American train tracks, was received with excitement at auction in July. The giclée print flogged for £32,000, achieving £10,000 more than its top estimate.

Cassandra by Bob DylanCassandra © Bob Dylan 2008

£15,000 for The Drawn Blank Series selected portfolio

The majority of Dylan's best-selling works originate from his series Drawn Blank - The Artist's Eye. The series was produced during Dylan's tour of America, Europe and Asia between 1989-1992. Dylan himself said of the series: "I was just drawing whatever I felt like drawing, whenever I felt like doing it. The idea was always to do it without affectation or self-reference, to provide some kind of panoramic view of the world as I was seeing it at the time."

This particular selection of prints from the series was sold at Tate Ward's Urban & Contemporary Art auction on 7 December 2021. The portfolio included 10 hand signed prints from the series: Sidewalk Cafe/Sunday Afternoon/Woman On A Bed/Vista From Balcony/Lakeside Cabin/Cassandra/Statue Of Liberty/Dad's Restaurant/Two Sisters/Bragg Apartment, New York City. Alotgether, the set fetched £15,000.

Bragg Apartment New York City by Bob DylanBragg Apartment New York City © Bob Dylan 2014

£12,000 for The Drawn Blank Series selected portfolio

This selection from Dylan's Drawn Blank series was sold at Tennants' Modern & Contemporary Art auction on 19 June 2021. The portfolio included 8 prints from the series: Train tracks/Sunflowers/Slide/Sunday afternoon/Woman in Red Lion Pub/Cityscape/Bicycle/Bragg Apartment, New York City. The selection achieved £2,000 more than the work's top estimate of £10,000, fetching £12,000.

Sunflowers by Bob DylanSunflowers © Bob Dylan 2014

£11,875 for The Drawn Blank Series selected portfolio

A selected portfolio of 18 prints from Dylan's Drawn Blank series appeared Chiswick Auctions' Decorative Art and Design auction on 3 November 2022. Together, the prints fetched £11,875, well over the £8,000 high estimate.

The Beaten Path (portfolio) by Bob Dylan - MyArtBrokerThe Beaten Path © Bob Dylan 2019

£10,000 for The Beaten Path portfolio

An example of Bob Dylan's artist's proofs selling for a high price at auction, this set of four giclee prints, is one of only 15 AP portfolios. The Beaten Path (2019) achieved a final sale value of £10,000 with the auction house Tate Ward, in partnership with Artsy.

Rooftop Bar by Bob DylanRooftop Bar © Bob Dylan 2009

£9,000 for The Drawn Blank Series selected portfolio

At McTear's Scottish Contemporary Art Auction, a selected portfolio of 8 prints from Dylan's Drawn Blank series were sold for £9,000. The sale is testament to the popularity of this particular series in Dylan's oeuvre, and the desire of Dylan fanatics to collect works from this extensive body of work.

Train Tracks by Bob DylanTrain Tracks © Bob Dylan 2008

£8,000 for Train Tracks from The Drawn Blank Series

Also at a McTear's auction, on 5 December 2021, four of Dylan's Train Tracks were sold as a mini portfolio from the Drawn Blank series. The four prints, all executed in different colours, achieved £8,000.

Two Sisters by Bob DylanTwo Sisters © Bob Dylan 2008

£8,000 for Two Sisters from The Drawn Blank Series

Also from the Drawn Blank series, Dylan's Two Sisters was received particularly well when it appeared at Rogers Jones & Co on 6 November 2021. The singular print fetched £8,000, double its high estimate of £4,000.

Rail Tracks by Bob DylanRail Tracks © Bob Dylan 2018

£7,000 for Rail Tracks

On 9 October 2021, another mini portfolio consisting of four of Dylan's Rail Tracks works appeared at Tennants' Modern & Contemporary Art auction. The selection fetched £7,000.