Tag Archives: auction

Collectible car auction: Porsche reved up their engine at Place Vauban in Paris, France

The finesse of German engineering has created Porsches that are phenomenal fun to drive. However, they have never performed phenomenally well at auctions. Although the technology helps them get around a track quickly, it also ensures that they do not disintegrate into rust. As a result, 86% of all 911s ever built are still on the road. Porsches simply aren’t as elusive as their counterparts, and that’s why the marque has yet to reach the same classic car heights as Ferrari or Aston Martin.

However, all of that is changing. Of the 76 automotive lots included in last week’s sale at Place Vauban in Paris‘s well-heeled seventh arrondissement, 26 were Porsches — the oldest a 1955 356 Pre-A 1600 Speedster and the newest, a 2016 911R with just delivery mileage on the clock. But regardless of age, all of the Porsches up for auction generated huge bidding battles and set records in the process.

An ultra-rare 1988 Porsche 959 Sport went under the hammer for a world record figure of €1,960,000. A prototype convertible 901 from 1964 (the year before Peugeot forced Porsche to rename the car the 911 because of potential copyright infringement) secured a winning bid of €649,600. And the aforementioned speedster also achieved a €369,600 sale price.

However, the big surprises came when essentially modern cars form Stuttgart were offered. A 1994 Porsche 911 Turbo S 3.6 fetched €901,600; a 2010 911 GT3 RSR went for €470.400 (two times its estimate); and a 1995 Porsche 911 Turbo Cabriolet for a phenomenal €1,344,000.

Even a 2016 911R — which six months ago was bought from Porsche for €150,000 — sold for €515,200. “Clearly, Porsche is still the star marque in the ascendance,” said Peter Wallman, Managing Director, RM Sotheby’s Europe, referencing the company’s recent London sale last September where a collection of perfectly preserved Porsche 911s went for huge sums.

“That sale was a game changer for Porsche,” explains RM Sotheby’s spokesperson Peter Hynes “Those cars went for what can only be described as ‘crazy money,’ the likes of which the market had never seen before.”

Wednesday’s results suggest that the London sale was no flash in the pan and that demand for Porsche is about to hit a peak. And we won’t have to wait long to see if this trend is set to continue. At Amelia Island, on March 10-11 there will be a further 22 Porsches going up for auction.

Auctions in Paris, France: Piasa to sell furniture, paintings and sculptures by famous artists and designers

Luis Barragán furniture set (Photo credit: Piasa)

On 22 February 2017, Parisian auction house Piasa will sell a private Belgian collection packed with treasures from some of the biggest names in art and design. All of the items up for sale can be viewed at the auctioneer’s premises in the French capital from 16 to 22 February.

Luis Barragán

The most exceptional lot in the sale is without a doubt a rare set of two benches and a table by Luis Barragán, the Mexican architect who died in 1988 and who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 1980. The set of furniture comes from his most iconic project “La Cuadra San Cristobal,” an estate with a main house and stables. The benches are estimated at €25,000 to €35,000 each and the table is estimated at between €70,000 and €90,000.

Franz West

The work of Franz West is partway between furniture and sculpture. One of his standout pieces, the “Swivel” office chair, is estimated to fetch €10,000 to €15,000 when it goes under the hammer.

“Flag Halyard Chair” by Hans Wegner (Photo credit: Piasa)

Hans J. Wegner

Work from Danish designer Hans J. Wegner also features in the catalog, with two armchairs up for grabs. “Valet Chair” is estimated at €6,000 to €9,000 while “Flag Halyard Chair” is estimated at €8,000 to €12,000.

Carl Auböck

Carl Auböck was one of the main icons of Austrian modernism. This former Bauhaus student, who died in 1957, stood out by crafting small items in a style far removed from the dominant Art Deco look that was fashionable in the 1920s.

Andy Warhol

The few artworks in the collection include Warhol‘s instantly recognizable “Campbell’s Tomato Soup,” estimated to sell for €20,000 to €30,000.

Takis

The sale also features work by less well-known artists, such as the sculptor Takis, whose two light-based creations are estimated to sell for €5,000 to €9,000.

Designer bicycle: Limited edition Gucci ‘Guccissima’ bicycle from 2005 goes up for sale

For those who remember a time when Tom Ford was the creative mind behind Gucci, you may recall that the designer had created more than just designer clothes. Prior to his departure from the Italian label, the designer produced what is now known as the Gucci ‘Guccissima’ Limited Edition 2005 bicycle. For those who would love to get their hands on anything vintage and unique, then this may just be your chance.

According to Cope & Cabrera, who happens to have just one of the bicycle’s as a part of its private collection, this is the first time that one is up for auction. Hand-crafted and a work of art that few will be able to call their own, the bicycle features all the signature Gucci characteristics. From the signature leather seat that showcases the chocolate brown shade that Gucci is known for to the seat pack that is fitted with a buckle enclosure and a double pannier travel bag, no detail has been left to chance.

The metallic bronze frame of the bicycle also displays the signature stripes of Gucci and has the large double-G emblems throughout. If that was not enough, the brand even engraved ‘GG’ on the bell. The bicycle has been on display for eight years now and is said to be in near perfect condition Though, should you wish to own the Gucci ‘Guccissima’ bicycle, be sure to part with a cool US$11,676 — a small price really for something that is expertly crafted.

To learn more about how to get your hands on the Gucci ‘Guccissima’ bicycle, visit Vestiaire Collective for more information.

Emperor Qianlong’s Chinese imperial seal from the 18th century sells for 21 million euros at auction

The auction house of Drouot recently announced the sale of an 18th century Chinese imperial seal that made the headlines for more than just its historical value. Fetching 21 million euros, the rare stamp in red and beige nephrite jade had a final price tag that was over 20 times its estimate.

Believed to have been from the Qianlong period between 1736 to 1795, the stamp was owned by Emperor Qianlong, the longest serving emperor in chinese history. Nine dragons on the sides of the seal symbolise the emperor’s masculine power and imperial authority. The new owner happens to be an unnamed Chinese collector who won a furious bidding war.

The seal was acquired in the late 19th century by a young French naval doctor in China and had remained in the family since. The doctor built an impressive collection during his many visits to China. Other items that went under the hammer from the same collection, included two paintings from Japanese master Katsushika Hokusai. The paintings, “36 views of Mount Fiji” and “Big wave at Kanagawa” were expected to fetch 30,000 euros.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: Rare Harry Potter book handwritten by J.K. Rowling auctioned for $467,000

A rare collection of fairytales handwritten by J.K. Rowling as a gift to her “Harry Potter” publisher sold for nearly £370,000 at a UK auction.

The copy of The Tales of Beedle the Bard reached $467,000 (£368,750 or 439,700 euros) in the sale at Sotheby’s auction house in London on Tuesday, 13 December 2016. The collection of fairytales was given to Hermione Granger by Albus Dumbledore in the seventh and final book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and contained clues that helped the Harry Potter and his friends defeat the evil Lord Voldemort.

The copy auctioned this week was given in 2007 to publisher Barry Cunningham, who gave his backing to the first “Harry Potter” book and thus launched a global literary craze.

“To Barry, the man who thought an overlong novel about a boy wizard in glasses might just sell… THANK YOU,” Rowling wrote at the front of the book.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: Hand-Written Harry Potter History (Credit: Sothesby's)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard: Hand-Written Harry Potter History (Credit: Sothesby’s)

The collection is bejewelled with semi-precious stones and features a sterling silver mounted skull on the cover.

Rowling wrote a total of six copies of the tales by hand, which were given to those most closely connected to the “Harry Potter” series, while a seventh book was written for sale at a charity auction.

That copy raised £1.95 million at the Sotheby’s auction in 2007, which was donated to Rowling’s children’s charity Lumos.

Intense interest in the wizarding world continues nearly two decades after Rowling’s first of seven volumes, “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, was published in 1997.

Earlier this year a 1930s-era oak chair on which Rowling sat while writing the first two “Harry Potter” books sold for $394,000 through Heritage Auctions.

Rowling received the chair — one of a mismatched set of four — free when she was a young single mother living in subsidised housing in the Scottish city of Edinburgh.

Watch Sotheby’s wizardly storyteller read from The Tales of Beedle the Bard below:

Artcurial Rétromobile 2017 Auction

Eight of the vehicles going under the hammer this year come from the prestigious collection of Hervé and Martine Ogliastro. These include an exceptional Delahaye 135 Sport Roadster by Figoli & Falaschi (estimated at €1.2 to €1.8 million) and a Bugatti 57 Atalante convertible (estimated at €1 to €1.5 million).

Other outstanding classic cars expected to break the €1 million mark include a 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi (estimated at €1.2 to €1.6 million) and a 1936 Talbot T150C (estimated at €1 to €1.5 million). Fans of sporty rides can snap up a 1957 Osca 273 S Spider (estimated at €500,000 to €800,000) or the famous Renault 5 Turbo with which Jean Ragnotti won the Tour de Corse rally on the island of Corsica in 1982 (estimated at €300,000 to €500,000).

1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet

This 1939 Delahaye 135 MS Cabriolet by Figoni & Falaschi is estimated at €1.2 to €1.6 million.

However, the model that’s really expected to send bids through the roof is a 1948 Ferrari 166 Spyder Corsa Scaglietti, a competition racer previously driven by champions such as Giuseppe “Nino” Farina and Raymond Sommer. Artcurial hasn’t yet provided a price estimate for this model.

Visitors to the Rétromobile classic car show in the French capital will be able to admire all these vehicles at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center from February 8 to 10, 2017.

1957 Osca 273 S Spider

This 1957 Osca 273 S Spider is estimated at €500,000 to €800,000.
© Artcurial
Artcurial Motorcars – Vente Rétromobile du 10 février 2017

Other models are likely to be added to the sale before the catalog listing closes December 15, 2016.

In 2016, the Artcurial auction at Rétromobile set a new worldwide auction record when a 1957 Ferrari 335 S sold for €32.1 million (including costs and taxes).

The 42nd Rétromobile classic car show runs February 8 to 12, 2017, at the Paris Expo Porte de Versailles exhibition center in Paris, France.

For Sale by Swann Galleries: Rare Le Corbusier Book

The first edition of Polychromie Architecturale: Die Farbenklaviaturen by acclaimed architect Le Corbusier will be up for auction Thursday, December 1 at Swann Galleries in New York.

Born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret (1887-1965), Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier became one of the most influential figures in the design industry. Even in the contemporary age, his reputation is still very much evident, with 17 of his constructions added to UNESCO’s heritage list this year.

Polychromie Architecturale: Die Farbenklaviaturen, Le Corbusier’s collection of ‘color keyboards’, was initially published in the 1920s. The publication acted as a color guide for customers of Swiss wallpaper manufacturer Salubra so that they could find and match colors for their interior designs. Inside the book are wallpaper samples and 12 pages dedicated to 43 color shades, with interactive sliding panels so readers can visualize the combinations of different hues.

Le Corbusier, Die Farbenklaviaturen von Le Corbusier, color sample book, first edition, Basel, 1931. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500. © Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

Le Corbusier, Die Farbenklaviaturen von Le Corbusier, color sample book, first edition, Basel, 1931. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.
© Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

Le Corbusier had his own unique color theory, which suggested that colors can be divided into three groups. Constructive natural pigments, which helped to change space perceptions, Dynamic synthetic pigments for emotional contrast and Transitional transparent synthetic colors that could change appearance without affecting volume.

Each color was believed to have its own function, from weight, depth perception and unity to psychological effects. Le Corbusier would use these color theories to create two series for the Swiss wallpaper company, one featuring plain color combinations and the other with bold, large-scale graphic shapes.

Le Corbusier, Die Farbenklaviaturen von Le Corbusier, color sample book, first edition, Basel, 1931. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500. © Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

Le Corbusier, Die Farbenklaviaturen von Le Corbusier, color sample book, first edition, Basel, 1931. Estimate $2,500 to $3,500.
© Courtesy Swann Auction Galleries.

The Swann Galleries in New York are confident of a successful sale of the rare “Polychromie Architecturale: Die Farbenklaviaturen,” expected to go for up to $3,500.

www.swanngalleries.com/news/2016/11/le-corbusier-color-theory-sample-book/

Anne Frank Poem Fetches $148,400: Dutch Auction

Anne Frank Poem Fetches $148,400: Dutch Auction

A very rare handwritten poem by Jewish diarist Anne Frank was sold for 140,000 euros ($148,400) to an unnamed online bidder Wednesday, fetching almost three times its reserve price.

Auctioneers closed the sale after just two minutes of tense bidding at the Bubb Kuyper auction house in the western Dutch city of Haarlem.

Around 20 collectors took their seats in a sales room decorated with antique books, maps and illustrations while others bid by telephone and online.

The reserve price was set at 30,000 euros ($31,000).

“Over the last 40 years, only four or five documents signed by the teenager have gone under the hammer,” Bubb Kuyper co-director Thys Blankevoort said.

Dedicated to “Dear Cri-cri,” the poem, written in Dutch in black ink on a notebook-size piece of white paper which has slightly discoloured with age, is signed “in memory, from Anne Frank.”

Frank wrote the 12-line text, dated March 28, 1942, in a friendship book belonging to the older sister of her best friend only three months before she and her family went into hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam.

“The Diary of a Young Girl,” which Frank penned while in hiding from June 1942 to August 1944 has sold more than 30 million copies in 67 languages.

She died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Germany in early 1945 less than a year after the Nazis captured her and just before the end of World War II.

A series of letters between Anne and her sister Margot with American penpals sold for $165,000 in 1988. And a 1925 edition of Grimm’s fairy tales, with both girls’ names written on the title page, went for $62,500 in May in a New York auction — fetching twice the estimated price.

Most Expensive: Eiffel Tower Stairs Set Record

Most Expensive: Eiffel Tower Stairs Set Record

A section of stairs from the Eiffel Tower in Paris sold for more than half a million euros, auctioneers said Wednesday – more than 10 times the pre-sale estimate. Yes, the estimate on this was 40,000 euros.

The 14 wrought-iron steps from a winding staircase between the second and third floors of the Paris landmark went for 523,800 euros ($556,000) after furious bidding at the sale in the French capital.

Auction house Artcurial said the dramatic sale on Tuesday had “unleashed the passions” of several international buyers, with bids rising rapidly from 20,000 euros, leaving the aforementioned 40,000 euro estimate far behind.

The prize eventually fell to a telephone bid from an Asian buyer.

Auctioneer Francois Tajan said “the battle over the phone and in the auction room for the stairs showed the profound attachment there is for a monument that is so emblematic of French culture.”

The stairs date from 1889 when the legendary French engineer Gustave Eiffel built the 324-meter (1,063-foot) edifice as the centerpiece of the Paris Universal Exhibition.

It soon became the most iconic feature on the Paris skyline, and is France’s most visited monument despite suffering calls for its demolition in the years after the exhibition.

It is still the country’s third tallest structure, and was the highest building in the world for 41 years until the construction of the Chrysler Building in New York in 1930.

The stairs were removed from the tower in 1983 to make way for a lift and cut into 24 sections, ranging from two to nine meters high.

Several were bought by museums while others ended up in the gardens of the Yoshii Foundation at Yamanashi in Japan, beside the Statue of Liberty in New York and at Walt Disney World in Florida, next to its copy of the Eiffel Tower.

Artcurial sold a larger 3.5-meter section of 19 steps for 220,000 euros in 2013.

Tajan said he was particularly “moved by the sale… having watched the first sale of the staircases in 1983 which was presided over by my father Jacques Tajan.”

Although the Eiffel Tower stairs fetched “an exceptional price”, the highest from the sale of Art Deco artifacts was four monumental sculptures by Georges Saupique which went for 1.24 million euros.

Saupique is best known for his bust of Marianne, the woman who symbolizes the French republic.

Louis XIII Cognac Sets New Sotheby’s Record

Sotheby’s set a new record of $558,000 with the sale of three Louis XIII L’Odyssée D’un Roi limited edition decanters. The three specially crafted decanters are the result of more than a century of fine craftsmanship from three prestigious French luxury houses: Hermès, Puiforcat and Saint-Louis .

Before the auction that saw the decanters being sold for a total of $558,000, the objets-d’art had a whirlwind tour that saw it visit various cities around the globe. Last month, the auction house saw the Americas edition of the same cognac beat the previous record price set for a Louis XIII decanter. Later that same month, the Asia edition beat its own previous auction record in Hong Kong. The final decanter, the Europe edition, was sold on November 16 at Sotheby’s London for $235,000._louis-xiii_l_odyssee-dun-roi_-nov-2016-auction

The proceeds from the sale of the three tailor-made coupes will go towards The Film Foundation that was created by Martin Scorsese. Created in 1990, the foundation helps to restore and preserve the traditions and history of cinema. “Sotheby’s was delighted to help raise funds for The Film Foundation through this unique series of auctions, each in our major sales locations” said Jamie Ritchie, Worldwide Head of Sotheby’s Wine.

Monroe 'Happy Birthday' Gown Sold for $4.8m

Monroe ‘Happy Birthday’ Gown Sold for $4.8m

The figure-hugging gown Marilyn Monroe wore to serenade President John F.Kennedy for his 45th birthday smashed its guide price to sell for $4.8 million at auction last week.

The flesh-colored dress, adorned with 2,500 hand-stitched crystals, had been expected to fetch between $2-3 million, Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills said.

It went to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, an American media empire specializing in bizarre and historically significant items which owns a chain of museums, including one in Hollywood.

The dress was so tight on Monroe that the legendary actress wore nothing underneath and had to be sewn into it at the last minute before stepping on stage at Madison Square Garden in 1962 to sing to JFK in her trademark sultry voice, according to the auction house.

First auctioned by Christie’s in 1999, the Jean Louis dress went to the late business mogul Martin Zweig for $1.3 million.

“Marilyn Monroe singing ‘Happy Birthday Mr. President’ is certainly one of the most famous impromptu performances in American history,” said Darren Julien, president and CEO of Julien’s Auctions.

“Tonight was one of the most important moments in our history as a company. We were incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to offer this amazing dress from the most legendary screen star of all time.”

Monroe died of an overdose less than three month after the performance, while Kennedy was murdered a year later.

Other highlights of the first day of a three-day auction of Monroe’s personal effects included the “Some Like it Hot” cocktail dress which sold for $450,000, and a “Rose Tattoo” gown which went for $125,000.

Screen icon

A pair of her Ferragamo shoes were snapped up for $34,000 while the her “Niagara” negligee went for $59,000.

Such was the popularity of the “Mr. President” gown that even a sketch of it by fashion designer Bob Mackie sold for $10,000.

“We have had remarkable opportunities to offer unique objects related to Marilyn Monroe in the past,” said Martin Nolan, executive director of Julien’s.

“Tonight is one of the most remarkable events in Julien’s Auctions history and one we will never forget.”

More than 1,000 lots of her possessions – the largest collection ever offered for auction – are being sold over three days.

Many come from the estate of her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, who died in 1982.

Considered the father of method acting, he worked with a host of stars including James Dean, Richard Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino, Jane Fonda and Robert DeNiro.

Strasberg developed a close friendship with Monroe, who bequeathed all of her personal effects and clothing to him in her will.

The singer and actress, one of the world’s most bankable stars before her death aged just 36 in Los Angeles, remains at the top of the list for collectors of celebrity memorabilia.

Five years ago, the billowing frock she wore on a subway grate in “The Seven Year Itch” – the scene that turned her into a screen icon – sold for a record $5.5 million.

Original Tintin Drawing Sets New Auction Record

Original Tintin Drawing Sets New Auction Record

An original drawing from the popular Tintin adventure “Explorers on the Moon” sold for a record 1.55 million euros at a Paris auction on Saturday, auction house Artcurial announced.

The 50 cm X 35 cm drawing in Chinese ink by the Belgian cartoonist known as Herge shows the boy reporter, his dog Snowy and crusty sailor Captain Haddock wearing spacesuits and walking on the moon while looking at Earth.

It had been expected to sell for between 700,000 and 900,000 euros ($741,00 and $952,000).

“It’s simply fantastic! It’s an exceptional price for an exceptional piece,” said Artcurial’s comics expert Eric Leroy.

He described the “Explorers on the Moon” as “a key moment in the history of comic book art… it has become legendary for many lovers and collectors of comic strips.

“It is one of the most important from Herge’s postwar period, on the same level as ‘Tintin in Tibet’ and ‘The Castafiore Emerald’,” he added.

World Record

The 1954 book is viewed as one of Herge’s masterpieces. Saturday’s sale was a record for a single cartoon drawing. In 2012, the 1932 cover illustration of “Tintin in America” fetched 1.3 million euros.

Herge already holds the world record for the sale of a comic strip.

A double-page ink drawing that served as the inside cover for all the Tintin adventures published between 1937 and 1958, sold for 2.65 million euros ($3.58 million at that time) to an American fan two years ago.

Original Tintin comic book drawings have been fetching millions at auctions over the last few years.

In February 2015, the original cover design for “The Shooting Star” almost matched the record when it was sold for 2.5 million euros.

Back in May, the original artwork for the last two pages of the “King Ottokar’s Sceptre” book sold for $1.2 million while in October of last year a double page slate from the same Tintin book fetched more than 1.5 million euros.

That same month, an Asian investor paid $1.2 million for a drawing from “The Blue Lotus” book, published in 1936, of Tintin and Snowy in Shanghai.

Alongside the moon drawings, Artcurial also sold 20 ink sketches Herge created for a series of New Year’s greeting cards known as his “snow cards”.

The drawings, including Tintin and Snowy skiing, or hapless detectives the Thompson twins ice-skating, brought in 1.2 million euros.

Unfinished Thermozero

Prices for cartoon art have multiplied tenfold in the last decade, according to gallery owner Daniel Maghen, who also works with comic art.

Rival auction house Christie’s is putting drawings from another rare Herge strip up for sale later in the day in Paris.

It said the page from the unfinished story “Tintin and the Thermozero” – estimated at 250,000 euros – was the first ever to come to market.

Why the artist never finished the tale of espionage and a terrifying secret weapon set against the backdrop of the Cold War, is one of the great mysteries for Tintin-ologists.

The 1954 “Explorers on the Moon” completes the lunar adventure started in “Destination Moon” (1953) and features several hilarious episodes including Haddock getting drunk on whisky and floating off into space to briefly become a satellite of the asteroid Adonis.

It turns on Tintin foiling a plot to hijack the rocket by the evil stowaway spy Colonel Jorgen, who is backed by a mysterious foreign power.

The sales come as Tintinmania again grips the French capital, with Herge currently the subject of a huge retrospective exhibition at the Grand Palais.

Herge sold some 230 million Tintin albums by the time of his death in 1983.

blue diamond sotheby's

Rare Blue Diamond Sold for $17.1 million: Sotheby’s

Earlier this week, a rare blue diamond was sold for $17.1 million during Sotheby’s autumn jewel auctions in Geneva. The 8.01-carat diamond, appropriately named “Sky Blue” and presented in a Cartier setting was valued at $15-25 million by the auction house and had been previously sold in 2012 for $12.8 million – gaining 33 percent in value in four years.

Despite this success, “Sky Blue” pales in comparison with another blue diamond sold by Christie’s, highlighting the intense rivalry between Sotheby’s and Christie’s. The 14.62-carat  “Oppenheimer Blue”, sold in May at a Christie’s auction for $57.54 million – which remains the world record price.

“Given the rarity of blue diamonds of this size and quality which have ever been unearthed, you’d expect every auction of this kind to be a dogfight,” said Tobias Kormind, head of 77 Diamonds, Europe’s biggest online diamond jewellery retailer.

It wasn’t all sunny skies at Sotheby’s though, as the auction house did not manage to find buyers for two valuable items.

First is a parure that used to belong to Russian empress Catherine I. Valued at $3-5 million, it features diamonds and has, shall we say, a quite interesting story.

The other unsold piece also belonged to the Russian imperial family, this time Catherine II, also called Catherine the Great. The diamond necklace, fitted with a detachable clasps, was valued at $5 million and you can read more about it in our earlier story via the link above.

Christie’s, which opened the season on Tuesday with 167 lots, achieved $97 million in sales, and beat its pre-auction estimate of $80 million. Sotheby’s, on the other hand, were expecting total sales in excess of $100 million this season.

New Auction High for Monet Haystack: Christie’s

New Auction High for Monet Haystack: Christie’s

A Claude Monet painting, “Meule,” part of his famous grainstack series, sold at auction in New York Wednesday for $81.4 million, a record for the French master, Christie’s said.

The previous record was in June 2008. At the time, “Bassin aux nympheas” (“Water Lilies”) took $80.4 million at a sale in London. The final price, which includes fees and commission, crushed Christie’s pre-sale estimate of $45 million.

The auction lasted nearly 15 minutes, an unusual length for a sale of this format.

A woman in the room stayed in the running for some time before making a last offer of $53 million and leaving it to buyers being handled over the phone.

This painting, of just one haystack with a conical top, at twilight, is part of the series of grainstacks painted by Monet during the winter of 1890-1891 from his house in Giverny, Normandy. It is one of the rare works in this series to still be in private hands, Christie’s said.

Most of the others are in the Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, or the Art Institute of Chicago. This painting was acquired in September 1891 by the Knoedler & Co. art gallery, which brought it to the United States.

In recent years, prices for works by Monet or other celebrated Impressionists have shot through the roof.

De Kooning Painting Sets Auction Record

Willem de Kooning’s “Untitled XXV” was sold late Tuesday at Christie’s in New York for $66.3 million, a record for a work by the abstract artist and for post-war contemporary art.

The imposing work, which measures 7 by 6.5 feet (2 x 2.2 meters), was painted by the Dutch-American artist in 1977 and is emblematic of the energetic, multicolor brush strokes he used in his work of the mid 1970s.

Christie’s auction house initially valued “Untitled XXV” at $40 million (37 million euros). When the same painting was auctioned ten years ago it went for $27.1 million, a record at the time.

The bid was placed in a phone call, and the buyer’s identity was not revealed.

New York’s fall auction season kicked off this week with an array of masterpieces, drawing bidders from around the world at Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.

Late Monday Edvard Munch’s “Girls on the Bridge” sold for $54.5 million, the second-highest auction price paid for a work by the Norwegian painter, Sotheby’s said.

The 1902 painting depicting women in colorful dresses fetched a price higher than the auction house’s estimate of above $50 million.

There’s no shortage of bidders in the United States, Paris, London – and increasingly Asia, with growing Chinese fortunes spent on internationally recognized works at both major auction houses.

The sales will serve as a barometer of the global art market, which did well during this year’s spring auctions despite a slow 2015.

Munch Painting Fetches $54.5 million: Sotheby’s

Munch Painting Fetches $54.5 million: Sotheby’s

Edvard Munch – the artist behind the ridiculously famous “The Scream” – hit a new auction high Monday in New York with “Girls on the Bridge.” The painting sold for $54.5 million, the second-highest auction price paid for a work by the Norwegian painter, Sotheby’s said.

The 1902 painting depicting women in colorful dresses that contrast with a dark, anguished landscape, fetched a price solidly higher than the auction house’s estimate of above $50 million.

The painting has broken records every time it has gone under the hammer. It went for $30.8 million in 2008, compared with $7.7 million in 1997.

Munch’s most famous work, “The Scream,” was his most expensive work of art to sell at auction, at $119.9 million in 2012. If it ever emerges again, it’ll do even better.

“Girls” is one of the star paintings at Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale. The autumn art auctions organized by Sotheby’s and rival Christie’s are set to continue through the week.

At Sotheby’s, the spotlight returns a long-running series of Pablo Picasso paintings titled “Painter and his model.” This particular 1963 painting by the Spanish artist sold Monday for $12.9 million. It had been estimated between $12 million and $18 million.

This first auction of the week, which drew more than 600 collectors or buyers from around the world by phone or in person, notched up about $151.9 million in sales in paintings and sculptures.

Among the other works to go on the auction block this week is Claude Monet’s “Meul,” part of a series of haystacks the French artist painted during the winter of 1890-1891. Christie’s has estimated it will sell at $45 million.

Another notable Christie’s offer will be Willem de Kooning’s imposing “Untitled XXV” – 6.5 by 7 feet (2 by 2.2 meters) – featuring the Dutch-American’s typically vigorous, multicolored brush strokes. Christie’s estimates a sale at $40 million.

Pioneers: Christie’s Hong Kong Asian Art Auction

Auction house Christie’s will hold an autumn sale titled ‘The Pioneers’ on 26 November at Hong Kong. The sale will be the first to commemorate notable contemporary Asian artists while also celebrating Christie’s 250th anniversary. 

Avid collectors will be able to get their hands on works of influential, avant-garde Asian artists from the 20th and 21st century, including Sanyu, Zao Wou-ki, Zhang Daqian, Wu Guanzhong, Lin Fengmian and Kim Whan-ki.

CHU TEH-CHUN (ZHU DEQUN, France/China, 1920-2014) VERTIGE NEIGEUX (SNOWY VERTIGO) Oil on canvas Each: 200 x 200 cm. (78 ¾ x 78 ¾ in.) (2) Overall: 200 x 400 cm. (78 ¾ x 157 ½ in.)

CHU TEH-CHUN (ZHU DEQUN, France/China, 1920-2014)
VERTIGE NEIGEUX (SNOWY VERTIGO)
Oil on canvas
Each: 200 x 200 cm. (78 ¾ x 78 ¾ in.) (2)
Overall: 200 x 400 cm. (78 ¾ x 157 ½ in.)

A number of the artists have actually lived abroad for some time of their lives, allowing them to blend their Eastern heritage with Western art techniques and philosophies, thus shaping an innovative art style.  

The cultural fusion is also reflected through the chosen auction venue of Hong Kong, which Rebecca Wei, president of Christie’s Asia, described as “a point of confluence between Western and Eastern philosophies”.

RYUZABURO UMEHARA (Japanese, 1888-1986) CANNES oil on canvas 129 x 95 cm. (50 ¾ x 37 ⅜ in.) Painted in 1961-1963 HK$ 10,000,000 - 16,000,000 US$ 1,285,400 - 2,056,600

RYUZABURO UMEHARA (Japanese, 1888-1986)
CANNES
oil on canvas
129 x 95 cm. (50 ¾ x 37 ⅜ in.)
Painted in 1961-1963
HK$ 10,000,000 – 16,000,000
US$ 1,285,400 – 2,056,600

Jonathan Stone, chairman of Asian Art at Christie’s, adds: “Hosting the sale in Hong Kong stays true to our continued belief in championing innovation and presenting on the world stage artist of the highest cultural and artistic accomplishment.”

‘The Pioneers’ sale will be held on 26 November 2016, at the James Christie’s Room, Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, No. 1 Expo Drive, Wanchai.’

Lindbergh Lost Flying Hat Turns Up at Auction

Lindbergh Lost Flying Hat Turns Up at Auction

The first hat to cross the Atlantic ocean – on Charles Lindbergh’s head, as seen above – could be yours at auction this week. Early aviation heroes such as Lindbergh, Alberto Santos-Dumont and Amelia Earhart continue to strike a chord, even with contemporary audiences. It is no surprise then that the auction of the aforementioned long-lost hat owned by Lindbergh is on course to set auction records this week.

The flying hat aviation pioneer Lindbergh lost while doing loop-the-loops over Paris after becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic is to be auctioned in the French capital. This isn’t merely a piece of clothing owned by Lindbergh though because it has tremendous provenance.

The leather and sheepskin cap which Lindbergh managed to lose twice in the space of a week after making history in May 1927, could make 80,000 euros ($88,000), according to Hotel Drouot auction house.

The “Lone Eagle” first lost the hat when he was mobbed after his plane, the Spirit of St Louis, landed at the Bourget airstrip near the French capital on May 21, 1927.

A mechanic handed the hat in to the US embassy that evening only for Lindbergh to lose it again seven days later when he was given special permission to perform aerobatic feats over the city in a borrowed French fighter.

The next morning a woman near Bourget found it in her vegetable patch.

The hat, which will go under the hammer on November 16, has been kept by the same family since. It wasn’t actually identified as Lindbergh’s until 1969.

Lindbergh returned to the US a hero, but six year later was hit by tragedy when his baby son, Charles Junior, was kidnapped from the family home. The body of the 20-month-old was later found nearby.

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Pierre Berge Library Auction By Sotheby’s: Part Two

As we announced a few months agoPierre Berge, the co-founder of the Yves Saint Laurent fashion empire has auctioned off the second part of his library in Paris. The private collection, which was made up of 376 works, is estimated to be the most valuable and has raised five million euros. Under the care of auction house Sotheby’s, rare first editions of classics of 19th century European literature including signed books by French greats such as Balzac, Hugo, Stendhal and Baudelaire.

Two pieces by Gustave Flaubert went under the hammer. The first, was a handwritten manuscript that sees the whole passages of the novelist’s travelogue “Over the Fields and over the Shores”, scratched out. The travelogue that earned 537,880 euros, was an account of his tour of France’s Loire and Brittany regions in 1886. The second was an original edition of Flaubert’s masterpiece “Madame Bovary” that sold for nearly twice its estimate at 190,369 euros.

However, the top earner from the two-day sale was for the manuscript of Stephane Mallarme’s “Noces d’Heriodiade”. The manuscript about the marriage of the biblical character Salome’s mother, sold for 587,720 euros. The sale adds to the 11.7 million euros that had been raised by the French philanthropist last year from first part of his collection. With four more sales of the library planned for next year, the collection is expected to be worth over 30 million euros. The proceeds of the auctions will be given to a foundation set up by Berge with Saint Laurent.