While most collectors would recognise the need to let something go in order to buy the next object, Warhol was completely averse to the idea of selling anything. “There were stories,” says Levin, “of Andy consigning something to go up for auction, only to run back to the auction house later that day to pull it from the sale.” Even if he never saw these objects again, he clearly enjoyed knowing that he owned them.
“I don’t think he really prized anything above anything else,” Levin explains, “it was simply good enough that he enjoyed it and that made it desirable to him.” The very best example of this is his collection of kitsch cookie jars. With quantities reaching into the triple figures, these flea market buys became real stars of the estate sale that we will discover more about later. The possibility that some of these jars could have been stored next to – and prized just as highly as – a finely crafted piece of Art Deco furniture shows the varied mindset that Warhol brought to his purchasing.
The value that Warhol placed on objects was never tied to their price or usability. A classic example of this was the watch he famously sported, the Cartier Tank. In Warhol’s own words: “I don't wear a Tank to tell the time. In fact, I never wind it. I wear a Tank because it's the watch to wear.” Uninterested in how valuable or useful an object was, the aesthetic into which it fell, and how completely it did so, was far more important to him.