Project (RED)

Sold! Red Mac Pro for $977,000

November 24, 2013: 12:37 PM ET

Apple's Jony Ive helped raise $26.2 million at Sotheby's for Bono's Project (RED).

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FORTUNE -- Bono called Jony Ive and his friend Marc Newson the Elvis and Beatles of design. Sotheby's Oliver Barker compared them to Donatello and Michelangelo -- referring to the Renaissance artists, I think, not the Ninja turtles.

Ive and Newson aren't that famous. But they do have a lot of cachet in the world of industrial design -- Ive at Apple (AAPL), Newson for everyone from Trek bikes to Ikepod watches.

And now they've proved themselves formidable fundraisers. A collection of objects the two designers curated raised more than $13 million at a Sotheby's Project (RED) auction Saturday night. That amount was matched by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to bring the total to $26.2 million. All proceeds will go to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa.

Most of the objects for sale were simply chosen, not designed, by Ive or Newson. But the big money makers were items they either modified -- like the Steinway piano with red top that fetched for $1.9 million -- or designed from the ground up -- like the Leica camera that sold for $1.8 million and the aluminum table that raised $1.7 million.

The fourth biggest money maker -- the (RED) Mac Pro that sold for just under $1 million -- bears both their names, but I'm pretty sure Ive did most of the design work.

LINK: Sotheby's press release (pdf).

Below: A 5:15 minute YouTube video featuring Bono, Barker, Newson and Ive that explains what the auction was all about.

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