Tag Archives: auction

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.

Why Ferrari 250 GTO Could Set Auction Record

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.

Marc Newson Chest of Drawers

Newson ‘Pod of Drawers’ Sold for One Million Euros

A chest of drawers designed by Apple designer Marc Newson was sold in a Paris auction for more than one million euros, more than twice its estimate.

The Australian-born designer’s “Pod of drawers” was bought by an Asian buyer for 1.019 million euros ($1.1 million), according to auction house Artcurial. The piece was created by Newson a 1987, when he was training as a jeweler.

Newson explained that he developed an interest in furniture design when he read European decorative art magazines left at his Sydney home by his Greek-born grandfather. The “Pod of drawers” itself was inspired by French Art Deco designer Andre Groult’s famous body-shaped furniture titled “Chiffonnier Anthromorphie”, Artcurial said. Newson of course is no stranger to creating desirable furniture, as evidenced by his Lockheed lounge chair.

“Entirely made by hand, the chest of drawers shows the fusion between European decorative arts and his know-how as an apprentice jeweler,” it added in a statement.

Two of Newson’s “Pod of drawers”, with their trademark curved lines made from aeroplane aluminum, are already on display in major museums, one at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the other at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.

All the lots in its “Heavy Metal, 20 Design Masterpieces” sale were sold, Artcurial said, making a total of 2.7 million euros.

1964-alpine-m64-berlinette

Artcurial Sells Iconic James Bond Aston Martin

A slew of classic and vintage collectible cars are set to go under the hammer in Paris, October 30 as Artcurial Motorcars celebrates a decade of its “Automobiles sur les Champs” auction – including the 1964 Aston Martin DB5. The 80 cars that will be up for grabs vary in age, origins and models, with several having appeared on both the big and small screens as well as in comic books.

1964 Aston Martin DB5

1964 Aston Martin DB5

Under the spotlight is a 1964 Aston Martin DB5  – which is a lovely car but not strictly speaking a classic car – that was driven by James Bond in Goldfinger. With an estimated value of €550,000 to €650,000, the car is a rare left-hand drive model that first started out as a “show model” from the 1964 Paris Motor Show. Joining this appointed star of the show are other notable vehicles including sports cars such as a 1964 Alpine M64 berlinette, a Bugatti Type 40 spéciale from 1927 and a Porsche Carrera 3.0L Group V from 1976. Guess which one of these is a proper classic…

1927 Bugatti Type 40 Spéciale

1927 Bugatti Type 40 Spéciale

Those with a love for Italian automobiles will be in for a treat with the 1967 Ferrari 330 GT 2+2, a 1995 Lamborghini Diablo VT and even a 1968 Alfa Romeo GTA 1300 Junior in the auction catalog. For those with a more modest budget, the auction will also feature more affordable options such as two Alfa Romeo Polizia, former Italian police cars from 1969 and 1981. Fans of the Michel Vaillant comic books will be more interested in the 1999 Hommell Vaillante “Grand défi” paying tribute to the series, estimated at €40,000 to €60,000. Finally, buyers with even more modest budgets can snap up a 1968 Fiat 500 L, estimated at €8,000 to €12,000. Yes, vintage vehicles aren’t all hugely expensive propositions

Before going under the hammer, the cars will be on display at the Artcurial private garage in Paris from October 29 to 30.

3 Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels Auction Lots

On November 16, the Sotheby’s auction house in Geneva will be putting some beautiful jewelry on the block as part of its Magnificent Jewels & Noble Jewels sale. As the name suggests, the auction will feature pieces of prominence that are not only rare but also of significance. While the full collection is currently on its way to New York for an exhibition before the auction, there are a few lots that have caught our attention.imperial-russian-necklace-with-bowknot-clasp-hr

From Russia with love, comes two pieces of jewelry that are linked to Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. As two of Russia’s most important and best known leaders, it comes as no surprise that they were in possession of such fine pieces. The first is a elegant diamond necklace that is fastened with a delicate bowknot clasp (above). While it is said that the Empress Catherine II (also known to us today as ‘the Great’) had commissioned it as two separate pieces, the jewel has survived centuries and even World Wars hidden away in the Kremlin. At the auction, the jewel is expected to fetch more than $3 million.super-diamond-parure-zoom-hr

The second of the two is said to be one of the most important parures of antique colored diamond jewels (above) to go under the hammer in the last five decades. The parure once played an important role in ending the Pruth River Campaign, possibly the so-called bribe that saved Peter the Great’s army from a crushing defeat at the hands of the Ottoman Turks. Later, in the hands of the ill-fated Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the necklace in its present form was gifted to the wife of the Teufik of Egypt for what is thought to be the birth of the last Khedive of Egypt and Sudan.

“These two stunning jewels carry with them a fascinating insight into the luxury and opulence of the Russian court,” said David Bennett, Worldwide Chairman of Sotheby’s International Jewelry Division. He added “It is difficult to overstate their rarity and historical importance, and I am thrilled to be able to present them side by side this autumn.”the-sky-blue-diamond-hr

The final piece that we take a closer look at before the sale is ‘The Sky Blue Diamond’ (above) from Cartier that sits in the center. Measuring in at 8.01 carats, the rare fancy blue diamond is one that many diamond aficionados would love to own thanks to its rare hue. With an estimated value of $15 to 25 million, Sotheby’s is waiting with bated breath to find out of the gem will help it set a new world record for a third time in two years. The auction house previously set the bar for auction prices of blue diamonds with the Blue Moon of Josephine that was sold for a whopping $48.5 million or $4 million per carat (mind the currency fluctuations, which have raised the price in USD quite significantly.

The Magnificent Jewels & Nobel Jewels Collection will make its was to New York for an exhibition from November 4 to 6 and then to Geneva from November 12 to 16.

Aston Martin Sells for $1 million via ApplePay

Aston Martin Sells for $1 million via ApplePay

If you ever wondered what the most expensive purely electronic payment was, this ApplePay purchase of a 1964 Aston Martin DB5 might just have set that record. Yes, ApplePay, really. UK auction house Coys’ bid to move classic car sales into the digital age by embracing social networks has paid off, to the tune of $1 million.

That’s how much one classic car fan has paid, via social media platform Vero, to take ownership of a pristine 1964 Aston Martin DB5. What’s more, the final transaction for £825,000 ($1.01 million) was made using Apple Pay – in itself a potential world first.

Rather than simply organize a real-world classic car auction and hope to get people in the same room worked up into a bidding frenzy, Coys joined social media platform Vero and offered a selection of four iconic modern classics for sale: the aforementioned DB5, a Ferrari Dino, a Ferrari Daytona and a Bentley Continental S2.

People could bid on them or hit the ‘buy now’ button instead and pay a pre-agreed sum to guarantee ownership.

To help classic car fans decide if the investment was sound – after all one of the most important aspects of a real-world auction is the chance to examine lots closely and even take cars for a test drive if you’re registered to bid – the company also had a stand at this year’s Paris Motor Show where visitors could see each of the cars in the flesh. But even here, things were a little different as if they had the Vero app installed, they could buy any of the cars immediately.

“The proud new owner saw the DB5 at the Paris Motor Show,” said Chris Routledge, CEO of Coys. “He was overjoyed to see the car of his dreams and didn’t want to lose it… he was keen to quickly get in front of the queue, so a few days later he hit the ‘Buy Now’ button on Vero to guarantee the purchase, leaving two other collectors disappointed in his wake.”

And even at more than $1 million, the buyer could well have scooped a bargain. The DB5 is in the most desirable silver birch paint finish with a red leather interior. What’s more it has undergone a complete ground-up restoration and has been kept in dry storage for the past 20 years.

“Collectors worldwide fight fiercely amongst themselves to obtain the best machines,” explained Routledge. “The ‘Buy Now’ feature on Vero will give informed and savvy collectors a crucial head start in a highly competitive market place. [It] signals a new era for classic car sales.”

You’ve missed out on the Aston Martin DB5, that’s true but Coys currently has a £400,000 Ferrari Dino 246 once owned by Led Zeppelin’s manager, an £800,000 Ferrari Daytona and a £295,000 Bentley Continental S2 listed on its Vero profile. We have a feeling more high-profile sales will be taking place on Vero.

Christie’s Forecasts Realistic Auction Prices

Christie’s Forecasts Realistic Auction Prices

The world has gotten used to ever increasing values for virtually all categories of so-called investments of passion over the last few years. Nevertheless, Christie’s is cautioning that “selective demand” and the global slump in demand is pushing the auction house to seek more “realistic estimates” on their offerings in the coming auction season.

“This year the market is not at the same level as it was one year or two years ago. We are facing a more challenging market,” Guillaume Cerruti, Christie’s president for Europe, the Middle East, Russia and India, told journalists in Dubai.

“To face this situation, the key word for us is selectivity,” he said, announcing two auctions this week in the glitzy Gulf emirate, one on Modern and Contemporary Art and another showcasing Important Watches.

“We want to have sales that are well curated, sales with maybe less objects but of high quality at… realistic estimates,” he said.

Displaying a distinct preference for finding an upside, he did not provide specific figures on the fall in overall sales. Instead, he said that online-only sales “have been a real success.”

“For the first six months of the year, we have sold through our online-only sales of 20 million pounds ($24.4 million) around the world,” a 100-percent over the same period of 2015, he added.

“We’re making sure that we find good quality of works that are well priced to ride through this more challenging period,” said Christie’s Middle East managing director, Michael Jeha.

In an auction on Tuesday of 113 artworks, the highest estimated price has been set at $180,000, far below the $400,000 price tag on paintings sold in March this year. Around 150 watches go up for auction on Wednesday, with estimated prices reaching $250,000.

Among them are two Patek Philippe 18K white gold automatic wristwatches with the Iraqi coat of arms and the name “Saddam”, after executed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein who ordered the watches in 1974 and 1980 as gifts. Their prices are estimated at $10,000 and $18,000 each.

London-based Christie’s, which celebrates its 250th anniversary on December 5, says its sales at Dubai auctions have exceeded $300 million since it opened a branch in the emirate 10 years ago.

Monet Haystack Painting Set for Christie’s Auction

Monet Haystack Painting Set for Christie’s Auction

One of Claude Monet’s celebrated “Haystack” paintings – estimated at $45 million – is coming up for sale at the Christie’s auction house in New York City. If it achieves or exceeds the estimate, it will confirm that Impressionist art still moves collectors.

With wealthy Chinese collectors expressing keen interest in such works, the painting – part of a series of haystack pictures painted by Monet during the winter of 1890-91 from his French home in Giverny – will first be presented next week in Hong Kong. It will then be shown in London before returning to New York in early November.

This canvas, representing a simple cone-shaped haystack at dusk, 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, to be auctioned on November 16, 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.

The record for a Monet was set in June 2008, when a work from his “Water Lilies” series – “Le Bassin aux Nympheas” – was sold by Christie’s in London for GBP40.9 million ($80.1 million).

Comics & Illustrations Auction By Christie’s

On Saturday, November 19, Christie’s Paris, in partnership with specialized gallerist and publisher Galerie Daniel Maghen, will host the second ‘Comics & Illustrations’ auction of the year. One month prior, a medley of these auction items will be on view in London (October 4-12) and Amsterdam (October 19-24) as a free public showcase before landing in Paris.

The selection of European comics on display spotlights beloved adventurers and heroes such as the unvanquishable Gaul Astérix; the scientist/captain duo Blake & Mortimer; the intrepid sailor Corto Maltese, the boyish, perpetually red-clad Spirou, and the forest-dwelling blue-hued community of Smurfs.

Albert Uderzo, ASTÉRIX, 'Astérix In Spain.' Original page n°16. Estimate: €170.000-190.000 © 2016 Goscinny - Uderzo Use only Galerie Daniel Maghen with Christie's

Albert Uderzo, ASTÉRIX, ‘Astérix In Spain.’ Original page n°16. Estimate: €170.000-190.000

Hergé — born Georges Remi — has been part of the popular imagination for over half a century with his ‘ligne claire’ style, and is currently the subject of a major retrospective at the Grand Palais in Paris. His work is represented in the showcase here by a double-page spread from his first published series, “Quick and Flupke,” dated from 1930 (estimate: €90,000-100,000). In addition, an Hergé sketch for the 1957 calendar in ‘Le Journal de Tintin’ spotlights the 12 main characters from ‘The Adventures of Tintin’, seen dancing like mad (estimate: €110,000-120,000).

Edgar P. Jacobs, 'Blake et Mortimer, La Marque Jaune' (The Yellow M). Original page n°6. Estimate: €120.000-140.000 © © Studio Jacobs / Editions Blake & Mortimer, 2016 Use only Galerie Daniel Maghen with Christie's

Edgar P. Jacobs, ‘Blake et Mortimer, La Marque Jaune’ (The Yellow M). Original page n°6. Estimate: €120.000-140.000

“I believe that the subject of comics and graphic novels is no longer a niche. Over the last ten years, the demand has considerably grown and many galleries and institutions have organised exhibitions in response,” noted Daniel Maghen of the medium’s new wave of relevance. Moreover, he notes the changing regard is also affected by the nostalgia factor of a grown-up generations of young readers. “I think that when one buys an original page from his [or her] favorite adventure, it is above all motivated by the feeling of a nice memory that is materialized by a piece.”

There will be a special focus — for both the sale and the exhibition tour — on French graphic novelist Jean-Pierre Gibrat. This marks the first time that Christie’s Paris will devote an auction catalog to a contemporary artist. The tome features 17 full-page comics and original drawings, as well as a Q&A with the author, who noted that “the detail is what drives the composition.”

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, 'Le Sursis,' Original page n°24. Estimate: 35.000-40.000 © Gibrat Use only Galerie Daniel Maghen with Christie's

Jean-Pierre Gibrat, ‘Le Sursis,’ Original page n°24. Estimate: 35.000-40.000

Gibrat will attend the London and Amsterdam exhibitions and present his work to the public. They will draw from the seven volumes that constitute his celebrated publications: “Le Sursis” (1999), “Le vol du Corbeau” (2002 and 2005), “Mattéo” (2008, 2010, and 2014).

Additional contemporary figures like Moebius, Bilal, Vance, Rosinski, Guarnido, and Loisel are being shown as well.

Christie’s Auctions 108 Rare Michelin Guides

International auction house Christie’s is set to auction off 108 rare Michelin Guides on December 5 in Paris. The guides, some dating as far back as 1900, are set to attract collectors and perhaps food historians as they go under the hammer. The oldest of the lot (and all the guides will be sold as a single lot) was printed at the turn of the 20th century and was published with the intention of providing motorists with as much information as possible. The original guides included information on motoring services such as mechanics and gas stations as well as places to stay and eat.

One edition set to attract a lot of attention from collectors and history buffs is the rare 1939 Guide that was reprinted in 1943 by the American Army. The reprinted guide was used to help soldiers find their way around Normandy beaches after the Allied landings! That is a true story, as far as we can tell. Lovers of gastronomy will be more curious to take a closer look at the 1923 Guide. That marked the beginning of Michelin attributing stars to the establishments listed in its “Recommended Hotels and Restaurants” section.

Nearly a decade later, it developed into a ranking system with the introduction of two and three star categories before being finalized two years later. The rare collection will be up for auction as a single lot with an estimated value of $22,476 to $33,711. Before the collection goes under the hammer, it will be on public display at Christie’s Paris until December 4.

This limited-edition Rémy Martin XO carafe is signed by jury members from the 2015 Cannes Film Festival (Ethan and Joel Coen, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Xavier Dolan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Guillermo del Toro, Rossy de Palma and Rokia Traoré). © Rémy Martin/La Part des Anges Rémy Martin/La Part des Anges

Guide: La Part des Anges Cognac Auction

For the 10th consecutive year, France’s national cognac board (Bureau Interprofessionnel du Cognac, BNIC) is holding an auction in collaboration with Artcurial, selling 24 prestigious carafes containing precious cognacs, some more than a hundred years old. The “La Part des Anges” auction is an annual event that draws collectors from all over the world. It’s due to be held September 22 in the French town of — where else? — Cognac. Find out more about the auction in this Q&A.

What is being sold in this auction? 

Twenty-four prestigious carafes of cognac have been generously donated by some of France’s top cognac makers. All are luxury items in their own right, both in their physical form and in their contents. The Hine distillery, for example, has donated a bottle of its 1916 vintage cognac in a beechwood presentation case finished with a design by contemporary artist, James Viscardi. Its auction price is estimated at €7,000 (approx. $7,865). Proceeds of the “La Part de Anges” auction are donated to charity. This year, funds will go to “Apprentis d’Auteuil,” a foundation that helps young people experiencing difficulties in their home, school or social lives. This 10th edition of the auction is also being sponsored by Michelin-starred chef, Guy Savoy.

Who can bid in the auction? 

Each year, collectors from all over the world head to this eagerly awaited event, which has become an early fall tradition. A charity gala dinner is also held to accompany the event. However, the auction is open to all wine and spirit lovers, who can bid for carafes live online at www.artcurial.com. Bidders will need to sign up at least two working days in advance. The Artcurial sales office can be contacted by email or telephone:bids@artcurial.com,  +33 (0) 1 42 99 20 51.

What kind of price do carafes start from? 

Carafes in the “La Part des Anges” auction start from an estimated price of €1,000 (approx. $1,124), for a Rémy Martin bottle. This unique example of the limited-edition jeroboam-sized XO cognac was specially designed for the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. The bottle is even signed by that year’s jury presidents, Ethan and Joel Coen, and jury members, Sophie Marceau, Sienna Miller, Xavier Dolan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Guillermo del Toro, Rossy de Palma and Rokia Traoré. This lot is a truly exceptional gift, as it also includes a 24-hour VIP experience at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, including the chance to walk the famous Cannes steps for a movie screening.

How much is the most expensive carafe expected to fetch? 

The most expensive carafe is a Hennessy bottle estimated at €20,000 ($22,474). The cognac maker — part of France’s LVMH group — has donated a carafe with an understated appearance, housing an exclusive blend of eauxde-vie from a century-old cellar. The master blender has drawn on the contents of this prestigious storehouse to create an “Edition Particulière” cognac especially for the “La Part des Anges” auction. It promises a timeless blend of remarkable intensity, reflecting the historic savoir-faire of the Hennessy distillery.

Where does the name of the auction, “La Part des Anges,” come from?

“La Part de Anges” means “the angels’ share” in English. This poetic and evocative name refers to a well-known phenomenon in the world of cognac making. As it ages, this French brandy draws flavor from the oak barrels it is stored in to mature. Since the cognac is in constant contact with air, some of the spirit’s alcohol evaporates during the process. This is known as “the angels’ share.” The process also helps cognacs develop more complex and refined flavors.

Paul Cezanne painting

Paris Auction Workers Steal from Dead

A group of Paris auction workers realized an essential truth: the dead don’t miss their belongings and they tell no tales. Some 35 porters at leading auction house Hotel Drouot were convicted in a French court of pilfering thousands of valuable items from the estates of the deceased. To add insult to injury, they had been doing so for years and were hardly low-key about it. Not to worry though, they’ll get the chance to think on their crimes while in prison, which is where some are going.

The BBC reports that the porters saw grave-robbing as an occupational perk and were aided and abetted in their twisted ways by three auctioneers, who received suspended jail terms. The defence team called the thefts “salvaging” during the trial. Hotel Drouot itself pleaded ignorance and supported the prosecution. Amazingly, the AFP reports that even though one of the porters owned a Porsche 911 this only aroused suspicion, not action. It took an anonymous tip for authorities to catch one of the porters in possession of a missing painting by 19th century French artist Gustave Courbet. It was curtains for the rest of the crew shortly after.

How did the porters manage these thefts? It was reported at the trial that they took advantage of their roles in clearing out the homes of the dead and transporting items to Hotel Drouot. They sold the items much later.

Tupac's Catchin' Feelings Lyrics Head for Sale

Tupac’s ‘Catchin’ Feelings’ Lyrics Head for Sale

Just ahead of the 20th anniversary of rapper Tupac Shakur’s death, memorabilia company Moments in Time is selling the original lyrics sheet to “Catchin’ Feelings,” reports the International Business Times.

The song, which appeared on Tupac’s 2002 “Better Dayz” album, will go up for sale for $38,500.

Earlier this year, Moments in Time released a love letter written by the rapper in 1988, in which Tupac revealed his feelings for a girl in his drama class – as well as his talent for writing.

Tupac was shot in Las Vegas, Nevada on September 7, 1996 in a drive-by, while traveling in a car with Death Row Records founder Suge Knight. He had attended a Mike Tyson fight at the MGM Grand just prior. He died six days later.