A newly-recorded version of Bob Dylan’s hit song “Blowin’ in the Wind” amassed a fortune for the folk singer at auction on Thursday.
The recording sold for nearly $1.8 million at Christie’s in London, which was well over the auction house’s estimated range of $716,000 to $1.2 million for it, according to reports.
The auction’s winner was not immediately revealed by Christie’s, but Variety reported that there was a heated bidding war between two anonymous potential buyers via a live feed.
The new version of “Blowin’ in the Wnd” is the first studio recording of the Vietnam War-era protest song since Dylan wrote it in 1962.
The iconic song, which was first released in 1963, was re-recorded in March 2021 with Dylan’s longtime collaborator T Bone Burnett and was featured as part of Christie’s “exceptional sale” during its classic week.
The few people who have heard the recording so far have been limited mostly to potential bidders at listening sessions at Christie’s in London, New York and Los Angeles, and at a few select playbacks Burnett held for members of the media and others.
“I trust and hope it will mean as much to whomever acquired it today at Christie’s exceptional sale as it does to all of us who made it, and that they will consider it and care for it as a painting or any other singular work of art,” he said.
Although the record is a new format, with reportedly “higher fidelity and a coating” that is said to make it “almost impervious to normal wear-and-tear,” the 10-inch disc can be played on a normal record player, Variety said.
This year marks Dylan’s 60th anniversary as a recording artist and of “Blowin’ in the Wind,” which was written for his second album entitled, “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan.”
“To work with such an incredibly important and groundbreaking advance in analogue playback technology is a tremendous honor,” Peter Klarnet, Christie’s senior specialist in Americana, books and manuscripts said in a statement.
Although Dylan’s recording was the focus of the auction, other, more typical auction items, also brought in big bucks. Variety reported that an Egyptian limestone statue from circa 2400 B.C. raked in nearly $6 million, while a Stradivari violin had a starting bid of $7.2 million.