The Guardian is reporting that the Tate just purchased 8 million individual sculptures or 10 tons of the approximately 100 tons of the sunflower seeds exhibited last year at the Tate Modern. Although the sale price was not disclosed, an article in the New York Times describes a sale of seeds from the same series on sale at Sotheby’s in London a year ago,
Four bidders competed for a mountain of 100,000 hand-painted seeds, weighing 220 pounds. By Sotheby’s calculations the anonymous telephone buyer paid about £3.50 (or $5.60) a seed.
which brings the total market price of the Tate haul to £28,000,000 ($44.3 million). Of course, they could probably have purchased the seeds on the secondary market at eBay for more than half the Sotheby’s price with free shipping to boot.