A boxing sketch in felt pen by the late Muhammad Ali sold for more than $425,000 at an auction in New York on Tuesday of his little-known art works, some of which went for many times over estimates.
The sketch, called "Sting Like a Bee," and drawn on paper in 1978 was the most sought-after work among more than 20 paintings, drawings and sketches by the former heavyweight champion that reflected Ali's interest in religion, social justice and his own career. It carried a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 to $60,000.
"Ref, he did float like a butterfly and sting like a bee!" reads the speech bubble from a boxer knocked out by an opponent whose arms are raised in victory. Ali famously used the phrase to describe his boxing style.
Bonhams auctioneers said that 26 art works by Ali sold for a total of $945,524, more than three times the lower end of estimates. "Sting Like A Bee" was bought by a British-based collector of Ali memorabilia, Bonhams said. Other buyers were not identified.