Tag Archives: auction

bunch of Ruby Roman grapes

Bunch of grapes sells for record $8,200 in Japan

bunch of Ruby Roman grapes

A bunch of Japanese grapes has sold for a record one million yen ($8,200), or $315 per berry — no trifling matter even in a country where fruit can cost a small fortune.

The record-setting bunch of 26 “Ruby Roman” grapes was the highest-priced at this year’s first auction in Kanazawa, 300 kilometres northwest of Tokyo, smashing the previous record of 550,000 yen set last year.

Each berry weighs at least 20 grams (three-quarters of an ounce) and is the size of a ping-pong ball, according to the local board of agriculture.

Winning bidder Masayuki Hirai, head chef of the Nikko hotel in Kanazawa, told media he had been under strict orders, with local tourism chiefs eager to capitalise on a new train line to the area.

“With the opening of the Hokuriku shinkansen (bullet train) line, I was told to win the bidding at any cost,” he said.

For connoisseurs of eye-wateringly-priced fruit, Japan is Seventh Heaven.

Earlier this year, a pair of Yubari melons from Hokkaido, northern Japan, were snapped up for a jaw-dropping 1.5 million yen.

Meanwhile, a Japanese department store thought nothing of shelling out 300,000 yen for a pair of pristine mangoes grown in southern Japan.

1986 Ferrari Testarossa

‘Miami Vice’ Ferrari up for auction

1986 Ferrari Testarossa

The white 1986 Ferrari Testarossa used extensively in the classic 80s cop show will be going under the hammer at the Mecum Daytime Auction in Monterey this August.

The star of Miami Vice wasn’t Don Johnson, or Philip Michael Thomas, it was the bright white Ferrari Testarossa that the undercover cops raced through the streets on the trail of drug dealers and other miscreants.

Famously the car was black when it arrived on set but director and executive producer Michael Man decided to have it repainted white so that it could be seen clearly during night-time scenes – unwittingly sparking a trend for white supercars the process.

The Testarossa has been sitting in storage since the show finished in 1989 and was only unpacked earlier this year for a full engine-out service.

It has 16124 miles on the clock and has been authenticated by Ferrari Classiche, and while Mecum is yet to place an estimate on the car, a standard, immaculate Testarossa can easily fetch over $150000 at auction.

But for a car as iconic as this the figure could be 10 times higher.

hero diamonds Rio Tinto

Rio Tinto puts ‘vivid’ pink and red diamonds on market

hero diamonds Rio Tinto

Sixty-five extremely rare pink and red diamonds were unveiled Friday by mining giant Rio Tinto which expects the stones from a remote western Australia mine to fetch record prices.

The diamonds come from the Anglo-Australian firm’s Argyle mine — where more than 90% of the world’s pink and red jewels are produced each year.

“This year, we probably have the most valuable tender ever,” Rio Tinto diamonds and minerals chief executive Alan Davies told AFP”.

“So we’ve got a number of fancy reds and the colour and the clarity this year is truly unique. They are so rare that all of the pinks you can have in the palm of your hand and all the reds you can count on one hand, so they truly are in the category of luxury collection.”

Argyle Prima diamond

The 2015 collection features five “hero” gems, including a 1.93 carat fancy vivid purplish pink shield-shaped diamond and a 1.47 carat fancy red oval-shaped jewel.

This year’s selection, which weighs a total of 44.14 carats, had some of the “most vivid” pink and red diamonds ever unearthed from the mine.

The jewels are around 1.6 billion years old and routinely fetch US$1-2 million a carat. As a basic rule of thumb, pink and red diamonds are worth about 50 times more than white diamonds.

It is not known how the diamonds acquired their pink or red tinge but it is thought to come from a molecular structure distortion as the jewel forms in the earth’s crust or makes its way to the surface.

1991 Ferrari F40

Ferrari F40 breaks records at the Artcurial auction

1991 Ferrari F40

The 8th edition of the “Automobiles sur les Champs” auction by the Artcurial auction house brought in a total of 11.2 millions euros after 80% of the lots were sold.

At the auction, Artcurial broke six world records with a Porsche 911 ST 2.3L Rallye Coupé (sold for €908,900), a Bugatti Type 13 Brescia (€905,900), an Alpine A210 Berlinette Le Mans (€478,000), a Maserati Khamsin (€274,200), a Ferrari 308 GTB (€202,600) and a Fiat Dino 2400 Spider (€188,300).

As for the biggest sale of the night, all eyes were on a 1991 Ferrari F40 that was valued between 900,000 and 1.1 million euros and ultimately sold for €1,013,000.

Captain Nemo Nautilus Car

An ‘extraordinary’ car is about to go under the hammer

Captain Nemo Nautilus Car

Captain Nemo’s six-wheeled ride from the 2003 Sean Connery film “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” will be auctioned on July 11.

The ‘Nautilus’ car is anything but a mere prop. It is one of two working cars built specifically for the film, is fully functional and was designed by the movie’s production designer and art director Carol Spier.

Built on a Land Rover chassis the car has a V8 engine and a hydraulic system for raising and lowering the ride height.

The car is estimated to fetch between £18,000 and £25,000 ($28,000-$40,000) as part of the Coys Blenheim Palace auction on July 11.

However, be warned, the vehicle is 6.6m long and 2.8m wide and is currently not legal for use on UK roads.

boxed slice of wedding cake

Five royal family wedding cake slices up for auction

boxed slice of wedding cake

Slices from the cakes of five British royal weddings dating back up to 42 years have been put up for auction — accompanied by a health warning that they are “not suitable for consumption”.

The slices were collected by Queen Elizabeth II’s late chauffeur Leonard Massey, who kept them in the original packaging offered to wedding guests with monograms to celebrate the unions.

Most recent is a slice of brandy-infused fruit cake from the 2011 wedding of Prince William and his wife Kate, which has a guide price of $600-$800.

A slice from the 1981 cake from the wedding of William’s parents, Prince Charles and the late Diana, is expected to fetch the most with a guide price of $1,000-$2,000.

The oldest is from the 1973 wedding of Princess Anne, the queen’s second child and only daughter, to Mark Phillips.

Royal Wedding cake

The couple’s entire wedding cake was said to be five-feet six-inches tall (168 centimetres), the same height as the princess.

Also on sale are slices of cakes from the weddings of Prince Andrew and his now ex-wife Sarah Ferguson in 1986, and Prince Charles and his second wife Camilla in 2005.

The cakes will be sold at Julien’s Auctions on June 27 in Beverly Hills.

Robbie williams

Robbie Williams announces charity auction

Robbie williams

British singer Robbie Williams is offering 150 personal items for sale with all proceeds going to the Donna Louise Children’s Hospice.

The auction, appropriately called “Doing it for the Kids,” will take place on July 15 in Knightsbridge, London and lots up for grabs include a set of handwritten lyrics to “Let Me Entertain You” and an MTV Video Music Award from the singer’s Take That days.

Of the sale, Williams said: “It’s a privilege for me to be a patron of The Donna Louise Children’s Hospice, it makes a real difference to these children whose lives have been tragically limited. The sale gives a great opportunity for bidders to know their money will go to such a fantastic charity, whilst also taking home some of my most prized possessions that have been personal markers of my career so far.”

Viewing of the lots commences on Saturday, July 11 and the auction itself will be streamed live via the Bonhams website.

Pair of Japanese melons

This guy just paid $12,400 for a pair of Japanese melons

Pair of Japanese melons

A single pair of premium melons fetched an eye-watering 1.5 million yen ($12,400) at an auction in Japan on Friday.

The winning bid was placed by a local fruit wholesaler for the first Yubari melons to go under the hammer this year at the Sapporo Central Wholesale Market in northern Hokkaido, officials said. (You can find more news about these melons here.)

The figure, enough to buy a brand new car in Japan is some way short of the record for the luxury fruit, which fetched 2.5 million yen in 2008.

High prices are the norm for the opening auction of the season and reflect buyers’ desire for prestige.

Yubari melons are considered a status symbol in Japan — like a fine wine — with many being bought as a gift for friends and colleagues.

The best-quality Yubari melons are perfect spheres with a smooth, evenly patterned rind. A T-shaped stalk is left on the fruit, which is usually sold in an ornate box.

While the prices they fetch at auction are very high, melons are not the only expensive fruit in Japan.

A single apple from a supermarket can cost more than $3 and a presentation pack of 20 cherries might sell for over $100.

'the Historic Pink

Princess Mathilde’s Pink Diamond Sells for $15.9 Million

'the Historic Pink

An “extremely rare” fancy vivid pink diamond weighing 8.72 carats sold for $15.9 million at the spring Magnificent Jewels and Nobel Jewels auction.

The stone, known as “The Historic Pink” and mounted on a ring with a classic non-modified cushion cut, is believed to have been part of the collection of Princess Mathilde, niece of French Emperor Napoleon I, according to the Gemological Institute of America.

Another of its former owners was the reclusive American heiress and philanthropist Huguette Clark, who died in 2007. It only recently reappeared after having been kept in the safe of a bank since the 1940s.

The origins of the stone remain unclear. The technical characteristics of the stone and the fact that it is so old suggest it may have been found in the famous Golconda mines of India, according to David Bennett, head of Sotheby’s international jewellery division.

The Sunrise Ruby

‘Pigeon blood’ ruby sells for record $30 million

The Sunrise Ruby

A rare 25.59-carat Burmese “pigeon blood” ruby sold for a world record $30.33 million at an auction in Geneva on Tuesday. There was strong demand for coloured stones and exceptional natural pearls, Sotheby’s said.

After competitive bidding, the ruby went to an anonymous telephone bidder for 26.25 million Swiss francs (27.3 million euros), with costs.

The “Sunrise Ruby” from Myanmar, part of a collection of Cartier jewels up for auction, had been expected to sell for between $12 and $18 million.

It set a record for a ruby and was also a record for a Cartier jewel at auction, Sotheby’s said.

Lightcycle Tron Legacy

Tron Lightcycle sold at auction for $77,000

Lightcycle Tron Legacy

The futuristic Lightcycle, star of the film “Tron: Legacy,” was sold through an auction by RM Sotheby’s at the Andrews Auto Collection for $77,000 over the weekend.

The bike is a replica of the one that Garrett Hedlund, the actor who played young Sam Flynn in 2010’s “Tron: Legacy,” was seen riding on screen.

This Lightcycle replica is powered by an electric engine and operates on lithium-ion batteries. It also boasts an internal computer that controls the throttle, and has hydraulic brakes.

Watch the bike in action during Tron Legacy below:

Picasso painting titled "Les Femmes d'Algers.

Picasso sets $179 million auction record in New York

Picasso's $179 Million 'Les Femmes d'Algers'

A Picasso masterpiece and a Giacometti statue smashed world records Monday for the most expensive art sold at auction, fetching more than $179 million and $141 million respectively in New York.

Pablo Picasso oil painting, “The Women of Algiers (Version 0),” sold for $179,365,000 after 11 minutes of furious bidding from four to five prospective buyers at Christie’s, where two auction rooms were packed.

It was the highest price for any work of art sold at auction, Christie’s said, but fell short of the $300 million reportedly paid privately by Qatar for Paul Gauguin’s painting “When Will You Marry?” in February.

Other world auction records were set for works by artists Cady Noland, Jean Dubuffet, Diane Arbus, Chaim Soutine and Peter Doig, Christie’s said.

Giacometti bronze

The auction house listed the buyers as anonymous but said clients from Asia, the Gulf, Russia, Europe and the United States had competed for the top 10 lots of the sale.

Exponential growth in the art market, particularly for modern and contemporary works, is attributed to a growing number of private investors around the world and burgeoning interest in Asia and the Gulf.

The previous world record for an artwork sold at auction was $142.4 million, set for British painter Francis Bacon’s “Three Studies of Lucian Freud,” which was sold by Christie’s in New York in 2013.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud

Giacometti had also held the previous record for the most expensive sculpture sold at auction, formerly occupied by his “Walking Man I” that fetched $104.3 million in London in 2010.

General MacArthur's watch

General MacArthur’s watch sells for $75,000

General MacArthur's watch

Seventy years after the end of World War II, a watch worn by legendary US five-star general Douglas MacArthur was sold at auction Sunday for 70,000 Swiss francs ($75,000), far above the estimate.

The steel Jaeger-Lecoultre “Reverso” watch — a classic model in which the dial can be flipped to protect the glass front from shocks — was the star offering at Sunday’s Antiquorum auction in Geneva.

The watch, made in 1937 and bought in Geneva, has MacArthur’s initials on the back and was put up for sale by his direct descendants.

Antiquorum had placed a pre-auction estimate of 10,000-20,000 Swiss francs on the historic timepiece.

Raised in a military family, MacArthur was chief of staff of the US army in the 1930s and was called on to defend the Philippines against the Japanese during World War II.

Although he was forced to flee to Australia, he fulfilled a promise to return to the Philippines and accepted Japan’s surrender on September 2, 1945.

Les Alyscamps, by Van Gogh

Van Gogh painting fetches $66 Million at NY auction

Les Alyscamps, by Van Gogh

A Vincent van Gogh painting of an autumnal scene in the south of France has brought in more than $66 million at an auction in New York City.

According to the Sotheby’s auction firm, Van Gogh’s “Les Alyscamps,” which depicts a stand of autumnal trees, had been expected to go for around $40 million but ultimately an Asian collector paid $66.3 million after an intense bidding war between five potential buyers.

The painting was made in 1888 during a two-month period when van Gogh and Paul Gauguin worked side-by-side in Arles, France.

The most ever paid for a Van Gogh was in 1990, when his “Portrait of Dr Gachet” sold for $82.5 million in New York.

100 carrat perfect diamond

‘Perfect’ diamond sells for $22 million in New York

Perfect Diamond

A “perfect” 100-carat diamond originally mined in South Africa sold for $22 million in New York on Tuesday in 3 minutes of bidding.

Sotheby’s had valued the jewel, which weighs 100.20 carats, at $19-25 million, calling it “the largest perfect diamond with a classic Emerald cut ever to be offered at auction.”

Discovered in the De Beers mines of South Africa then cut, polished and perfected for more than a year, it was the highlight in 370 lots at a Sotheby’s jewelry auction.

The winning bidder took part by telephone but wanted to remain anonymous, Sotheby’s said.

100 carrat perfect diamond

The auction house had showcased the jewel twice in the Middle East — in Doha and Dubai — as well as Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London and New York in a bid to attract interest ahead of the sale.

Sotheby’s says only five comparable quality diamonds weighing more than 100 carats have been sold at auction, the most expensive of which fetched $30.6 million at Sotheby’s in Hong Kong in 2013.

white oval diamond

Gary Schuler, head of Sotheby’s jewelry department in New York, called the stone “the definition of perfection.”

“The color is whiter than white, it is free of any internal imperfections, and so transparent that I can only compare it to a pool of icy water.”

 

Pope Francis iPad

Pope’s iPad fetches $30,500 at auction

Pope Francis iPad

An iPad that belonged to Argentina-born Pope Francis went under the hammer for $30,500 on Tuesday, autioneers in Uruguay said.

DON’T MISS: POPE’S HARLEY SELLS FOR $284000

Montevideo-based auction house Castells said the winning bid was placed by telephone. Local media threw a spotlight on the iPad last year.

The pope gave it — complete with its His Holiness Francis label and a Vatican certificate of authenticity — to an Uruguayan priest as a gift.

POPE FRANCIS TOPS ESQUIRE’S BEST-DRESSED LIST

It ended up being donated to a local school by the priest, before being auctioned off to raise money.

Japanese mangoes

Pair of Japanese mangoes sold for $2,500

A deep pocketed Japanese department store shelled out an eye-watering 300,000 yen ($2,500) Monday for a pair of mangoes, a record price for the second year in a row.

Japanese mangoes

After the hammer fell at an auction in far-southern Miyazaki, the successful bidder airlifted the fruit to its luxury shop in Fukuoka, where they went on sale at a bargain 210,000 yen.

The mangoes — top-of-the-range “Taiyo no Tamago” (Egg of the Sun)-brand — were the first to go for auction this year, an occasion that usually attracts inflated prices.

To qualify as a “Taiyo no Tamago” mango, each fruit must weigh at least 350 grams (12 oz) and have a high sugar content.

While $2,500 is steep for a pair of mangoes, fruit is routinely expensive in Japan and it is not unusual for a single apple to cost upwards of $3.

This year’s must-have luxury fruit is a particular brand of strawberry, with a single berry currently selling for around $415.

However, all pale in comparison with the tear-inducing $25,000 price tag for a pair of cantaloupe melons auctioned in 2008.

Chinese Guan Vase

Chinese tycoon Liu snaps up ancient vase for $15 million

Guan Vase Southern Song Dynasty

Chinese tycoon Liu Yiqian splashed out nearly HK$114 million ($14.71 million) on an ancient vase at auction in Hong Kong Tuesday.

The octagonal piece, an 800-year-old Southern Song Dynasty work tinted a milky blue, broke the guide price of $7.7 million at the Sotheby’s sale.

Imperial Chinese bowl

The vase is from the same collection as a Chinese porcelain bowl which fetched nearly $27 million at a Sotheby’s sale in April 2012 (above). That price was a record for Song Dynasty ceramics.

Taxi-driver-turned-financier Liu — chairman of investment company Sunline Group — is one of China’s wealthiest men and among the country’s new class of super-rich scouring the globe for artworks.

Meiyintang Chenghua Chicken Cup

The 51 year-old broke the world auction record for Chinese porcelain in April last year when he bought a Ming Dynasty wine cup for $36 million, which he subsequently famously drank tea from.

In November he snapped up a Tibetan silk tapestry for $45 million at Christie’s in Hong Kong, setting another world record for any Chinese work of art sold by an international auction house.

Tibetan tapestry

Liu, who also owns his own museum in Shanghai, has said he is on a mission to bring ancient Chinese artefacts back to the country.

Swatch watches

This Swatch collection could fetch millions

 Swatch watches

One of the biggest private collections of Swatch watches in the world will go under the hammer in Hong Kong this week and is expected to fetch more than US$13 million.

Credited with breathing new life into the ailing Swiss watch industry after its launch in 1983, Swatch quickly became a cultural phenomenon with its multi-coloured plastic designs and largely affordable price tags.

DON’T MISS: SMART SWATCH TO LAUNCH IN THREE MONTHS

The massive collection of more than 5,800 Swatch watches — including limited editions by artists including Kiki Picasso and Keith Harin will be sold as a “superlot” at Sotheby’s on Tuesday.

It is the pride and joy of Luxembourg-based Paul Dunkel, 68, who has spent more than two decades tracking down almost all the watches Swatch created in its first 25 years.

And it is clearly a wrench for the retired insurance broker to say goodbye to the collection. “For me, it’s not possible to continue (collecting). It’s so much work. The young people must continue,” he told AFP.

Dunkel’s obsession started in the 1980s. Already a collector of abstract art, he realised that some of his favourite artists were designing for Swatch, so he began collecting the watches and related artwork.

Dunkel has travelled far and wide to seek out pieces and has paid thousands of euros for some.

But his favourite is a simple 1994 design covered in white sheep, with one black one tucked away on the strap. He has a tie to match.

“Swatch is universal,” says Dunkel. “You can have one for every day of the week. I often wear one.”

eBay, Sotheby’s launch new online auctions platform

Sotheby’s Partners with eBay

eBay, Sotheby’s launch new online auctions platform

Famed auction house Sotheby’s and eBay launched yesterday their new live online auction site, ebay.com/sothebys.

The site, hosted by eBay, will allow collectors to bid on auctions in New York from anywhere in the world as they happen, access live streaming audio and video of the sales, and view items for sale.

The first auctions on the platform will begin on April 1 (that’s no joke) with photographs and a themed New York sale that will include the 13 letters of the 1970s Yankee Stadium sign that could fetch up to $600,000 from the collection of baseball great Reggie Jackson.

Online art sales are not new. Sotheby’s and its rival Christie’s conduct them. But the platform will bring Sotheby’s vast inventory to a new audience in the hopes of boosting sales and prices.