A Palm Beach billionaire has uncorked a suit charging Christie’s auction house is in cahoots with counterfeit wine sellers.
William Koch is still steaming about four bottles of wine supposedly owned by Thomas Jefferson that he bought for more than $300,000, which allegedly turned out to be fakes.
He’s already sued the seller – and now he’s trained his sights on the auction house, claiming it knew the Bordeaux was bogus.
A Picasso painting owned by Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Art Foundation, which was at the centre of a dispute about its Nazi-era history, is to go under the hammer.
Lloyd Webber — composer of musicals like “Cats” — originally announced his intention to sell “Portrait of Angel Fernandez de Soto” for charity in 2006.
It was later withdrawn from auction after a claim that a previous owner, German-Jewish banker Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, had sold it under duress from the Nazi regime in Germany in the 1930s.
But von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s descendants reached an out-of-court settlement in the US in January with the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation, which is selling the picture, allowing it to retain ownership.
A Picasso masterpiece unseen in public for 43 years fetched more than twice its expected price at auction – going for Â£8.1million at last nightâ€™s Christieâ€™s sale.
Tete de Femme (Jacqueline), a 1963 portrait of the artist’s second wife, had not been seen in public since 1967 and was expected to fetch Â£4million.
Jacqueline had an unusually short neck and it is said that Picasso would jokingly exaggerate its size in his portraits – as in this elongated example.
Gucci has always been vigilant to crack down on counterfeiting and trademark infringement, but now they’re taking a new angle on brand protection.
On January 18, 2010, Gucci and Christieâ€™s will launch â€œGucci Collector: Presented by Christieâ€™sâ€â€” the very first Gucci-certified online destination for authenticating and appraising vintage Gucci products.
A dedicated section on www.christies.com will allow owners to upload photos of their vintage items and submit an appraisal request.
A letter penned by George Washington praising the new Constitution sold for $3.2 million at an auction, the highest price for a letter by America’s first president.
The four-page letter was written in 1787 to the president’s nephew, Bushrod Washington, and urges adoption of the country’s new constitution.
Last year, a 1864 letter in which President Abraham Lincoln replies to the abolitionist pleas of youth sold for $3.4 million.
Castello de Castagneto Po, the childhood home of French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy is up on the market again, and with 40 rooms and 175 acres of lavish landscape, this is one fairy tale home.
A Rembrandt masterpiece is expected to fetch up to Â£25 million ($41 million) when it goes under the hammer at Christie’s on December 8, 2009.
The painting could break the record price for a Rembrandt, which currently stands at Â£19,800,000 paid for Portrait Of A Lady Aged 62, in December 2003.
The painting, titled “Portrait of a man, half-length, with his arms akimbo,” was painted in 1658 and has been unseen in public for nearly 40 years.
The famed art auctioneer has signed a lease for 235,000 square feet of warehouse space in Brooklyn. Christie’s will store fine art in the waterfront building.
Christieâ€™s expects to occupy the six-story warehouse building early next year, according to a company spokeswoman.
The company would not say how much it paid for the space, but commercial brokers estimated costs at $8 to $10 per square foot.
A second group of artworks from the collection of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge is expected to fetch up to 4 million euros ($5.7 million) when it appears for sale in November.
Christieâ€™s Internationalâ€™s YSL Part II sale, held in collaboration with Pierre Berge, will take place at its Paris auction rooms on November 17, 18 and 19.
Almost 1,200 pieces will be offered, about half of them from the coupleâ€™s coastal retreat, Chateau Gabriel, at Benerville near Deauville in Normandy.
A five-carat cushion-cut pink diamond known as “The Vivid Pink” is set to lead Christie’s Hong Kong sale this fall.
According to a media release, the Vivid Pink is the largest potentially flawless fancy-vivid-pink diamond ever offered for sale at auction.
Property of a private collector and set in a ring by renowned jeweler Laurence Graff, the diamond is expected to fetch between $5-$7 million.
A giant gem will hit the auction block in New York this autumn with the sale of the 32-carat emerald-cut Annenberg diamond, which is expected to fetch as much at $5 million.
The flawless ring-mounted diamond, owned by philanthropist Lee Annenberg, widow of publishing magnate Walter Annenberg, leads the auction house’s magnificent jewels sale on October 21.
“Gems of this size are extremely rare, and their presence on the market is always an important event in the world of diamonds,” said Rahul Kadakia, Christie’s head of jewelry.
A painting by Chinese artist Sanyu fetched a record HK$42.1 ($5.4 million) at a Hong Kong auction as bidders fought for lots, betting that the worst of Asiaâ€™s art-market slump is over.
Of the 38 lots offered last week at Christieâ€™s Internationalâ€™s top selection of Asian art, 34 sold, raising a combined HK$181.7 million, according to the London-based auction house.
Thatâ€™s about twice the companyâ€™s presale estimate, said Kate Malin, a Christieâ€™s spokeswoman.
Christieâ€™s is offering a rare, 100-million-year-old petrified shell of an extinct Canadian marine creature.
This fossilized ammonite is expected to fetch $70,000 at an auction next week in France.
The fossil has naturally occurring iridescent colors created when the original shell substance turned into a mineral called aragonite.
A small brown leather armchair once owned by Yves Saint Laurent has reportedly sold for Â£19.4 million (nearly $28 million), making it the most expensive piece of 20th-century design to ever be auctioned.
The armchair, by Irish designer Eileen Gray was only expected to reach around Â£3 mllion at Christie’s in Paris. It was bought by specialist Paris art gallery Robert and Cheska Vallois.
The unique piece – known as the “dragons’ armchair because of the ornate sculptures on its sweeping armrests – was created between 1917 and 1919 by Miss Gray.
Cai Mingchao, a Chinese antique collector and an adviser to the National Treasures Fund, said he placed the winning bid for the two Qing bronzes auctioned in Paris last week and won’t be paying.
The National Treasures Fund is a group backed by the Chinese Ministry of Culture that pools donations to retrieve relics abroad.
Christie’s had proceeded with the sale of the Qing bronzes, severed from a water clock by marauding British and French troops from the Summer Palace in 1860, despite protests from China’s art advocacy groups, patriots and the foreign ministry.
The private collection amassed by the fashion designer and his partner Pierre Berge is considered one of the finest in the world.
Labeled the “sale of the century” by Christie’s, it will include over 700 lots with an estimated total value of â‚¬200 million to â‚¬300 million ($255 million to $380Â million).
Berges and Saint Laurent met in 1958 and set themselves the goal of buying the best paintings and sculptures they could lay their hands on.
A rare manuscript of a speech by Abraham Lincoln calling on the country to unite amid civil war in 1864 sold at auction Thursday for 3.4 million dollars.
The sale, held at Christie’s in New York on the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth, was a record for a US historical manuscript, according to the auction house, and inside the three to four million dollar estimate.
In the November 10, 1864 speech, made shortly after he won re-election, Lincoln wrote: “Now that the election is over, may not all, having a common interest, reunite in a common effort, to save our common country?” Source: AFP
A 20 year old nude photo of Madonna will be on auction at Christie’s house in New York, February 12.
The photograph titled ‘Nude’, which earned Madonna a $25 modeling fee, is expected to sell for $10,000, at the very least. Itâ€™s a full frontal image, taken by Lee Friedlander in 1979 and published in Playboy in 1985.
Madonna was a dancer – says Matthieu Humery, head of Christie’s photography department – when she answered Friedlander’s newspaper ad seeking a nude model.
The rare, 101.27-carat diamond sold at Christie’s spring 2008 Hong Kong auction is now known as “The Shizuka Diamond,” Christie’s announced on Thursday.
The giant stone’s owner selected the name as a gift for his wife of 16 years.
The Shizuka diamond netted $6.2 million at “Jewels: The Hong Kong Sale” in May 2008 and is the largest colorless diamond ever sold at auction in Asia.
A painting by Claude Monet, which is said to have started the new trend of ‘Impressionism’ with its colour-filled canvas, built with darting brushstrokes, is to go under the hammer next month.
The painting, Dans La Prairie, painted in 1876 and first shown at an exhibition in Paris in 1877, features the artist’s wife Camille almost submerged in a flower-strewn field in Argenteuil, to the north of Paris.
Monet’s skill in capturing the scene even bedazzled his contemporary, Paul Cezanne.