A late self-portrait by “pope of pop” Andy Warhol sold for a record 32.5 million dollars at Sotheby’s in New York on Wednesday.
The stark 1986 image of Warhol’s famous face and unkempt hair was estimated to sell at between 10-15 million at the contemporary art auction.
The huge final sale value was in line with the strong demand for Warhols shown at the contemporary art auction at rival Christie’s in Manhattan on Tuesday.
The Sotheby’s sale was the highest price paid for a self-portrait by the iconoclastic artist, who died a year after the work was completed.
A rare 5.16-carat blue diamond sold at auction for $6.4 million in Hong Kong on Wednesday, confirming Asia’s fast-growing taste for the precious stone.
London’s famed Moussaieff Jewellers paid more than the $5.9 million expected price tag for the pear-shaped stone, the first blue diamond from the celebrated De Beers Millennium Jewels Collection to appear at auction.
The De Beers Millennium Collection, displayed in London’s Millennium Dome in 2000, comprised 12 rare gems and took decades to assemble.
â€œItâ€™s a bargain and I got it at this price because everyone was asleep,â€ Moussaieff said in an interview.
Her London-based boutique will change the gemâ€™s mounting and offer the stone â€œto discerning clients, possibly in Asia,â€ she said.
In a bold recognition of the world’s fastest-growing auction market, Sotheby’s recently hoisted China‘s flag at the most conspicuous spot outside its New York headquarters.
The flag now flies between those of the US, UK, France, and Switzerland, where the auction house has established its core client base.
“We proposed it. To my great surprise, not only was the Chinese flag hoisted, it was hoisted in the middle,” Kevin Ching, chief executive officer of Sotheby’s in Asia, told AFP.
Hong Kong has become the world’s third largest auction hub after New York and London, thanks to the rising political and economic prowess of China.
China is expected to be the world’s seventh largest wine consumer by 2013 as the nation’s thirst for vintages continues to grow amid an economic boom.
The country will consume around 1.26 billion bottles of wine in 2013, an increase of about 32 percent from 2009, according to findings of Vinexpo, organiser of one of the world’s largest wine and spirits exhibitions.
China was the eighth largest wine consumer last year, behind leader Italy, France and the United States in the top three spots.
Sotheby’s will auction off a melchior of ChÃ¢teau Cheval Blanc 2006 on Feb. 17 in London, as part of a “finest and rarest wines and vintage Port” auction.
The melchior sized bottle, which is 18 litres in volume is expected to fetch up to 4,800 GBP.
The melchior weighs in at 25kg, is 75cm high with a circumference of 70cm and contains enough wine to pour 144 glasses of wine.
Alberto Giacometti’s “L’Homme Qui Marche” set a record for the most expensive piece of art ever sold by auction when it was sold on February 3.
The Swiss artist’s characteristic sculpture of an elongated figure in bronze garnered a record-breaking 65 million pounds ($104.3 million) when it went under the hammer at Sotheby’s in London.
Prior to the auction the record was held by Spanish cubist Pablo Picasso’s 1906 portrait GarÃ§on Ã la pipe (“Boy With a Pipe”), according to the Mirror.co.uk.
Forbes reports that Sotheby’s is offering a 1,500-year-old biblical document that includes layers of text and meaningâ€“in three languages.
Known as the Codex Climaci Rescriptus, the piece was written over the span of three centuries and stowed in a sacred monastery until landing in the hands of a pair of British twins by way of local Egyptian dealers.
Now an English college is cannibalizing its library and cashing out, to pay for some building renovations.
A late â€œmusketeerâ€ painting by Pablo Picasso sold for 7 million pounds ($11.5 million) at Sothebyâ€™s last night as buyers looked for value in the contracted auction market for Impressionist art.
The 1969 work dates to a period late in Picassoâ€™s life when he was obsessed with floppy-hatted swashbucklers and their Casanova lifestyles.
In this version, Picassoâ€™s doppelganger stands before a velvety red backdrop in a yellow jacket. He holds a sword as if posing for an Old Master portrait.
A flawless blue diamond weighing 7.03 carats has sold for a record 10.5 million Swiss francs ($9.49 million), the highest price paid per carat for any gemstone at auction, Sotheby’s said.
The rectangular-shaped blue stone, mounted on a platinum ring, is the rarest to enter the international market this year.
The anonymous phone bidder, who won after a 15-minute war, has yet to name the gem.
A medieval Islamic glass vessel sold in London yesterday for 1.6 million pounds ($2.3 million), more than 20 times as much as it fetched less than a decade ago, when it was dismissed as a fake.
The 8-inch-high â€œRothschild Bucketâ€ was offered in Sothebyâ€™s â€œArts of the Islamic Worldâ€ sale as a mid-14th-century piece, Bloomberg reports.
The bucket is actually a glass finger bowl, intricately gilded and decorated with colourful enamels, that dates from 14th century Egypt or Syria. It was made during the Mamluk dynasty that ruled the region from 1250 to 1517.
An 8th-century tortoiseshell vanity box, said to be a gift from the Tang Dynasty palace to Japanâ€™s Emperor Shomu, will be auctioned in Hong Kong and may fetch more than HK$40 million ($5 million).
The octagonal box, measuring 35.6 centimeters across and embedded with mother-of-pearl and amber in shapes of flowers, is the highlight of Sothebyâ€™s planned sale of antiques, gems and paintings on April 8.
The item had once resided at the repository of the Todaiji, or Great Eastern Temple, in the southern Japanese prefecture of Nara.
Indian carpet made of pearls and gems today fetched a record $5.5 million at the first series of auctions held by Sothebyâ€™s in the Gulf state of Qatar.
The 5-foot-8-inch by 8-foot-8-inch Pearl Carpet of Baroda had been commissioned in 1865 by the Maharajah of the former Indian state of Baroda, possibly as a gift for the tomb of the prophet Mohammed at Medina, said Sothebyâ€™s.
The carpet, with more than 1 million natural Basra seed pearls, had never been offered before at auction and was expected to fetch at least $5 million, said Sothebyâ€™s.
Artworks belonging to the late Gianni Versace sold at a London auction for more than twice the presale estimate, the second time in a month the public sale of a famed fashion designerâ€™s items had defied the economic slump.
The 545-lot sale of the contents of Villa Fontanelle, Versaceâ€™s early 19th-century mansion on the shores of Lake Como, fetched 7.4 million pounds ($10.5 million) last night, against a presale top estimate of 2.8 million pounds.
Like the Saint Laurent sale, the Versace sale was a chance to pick up pieces personally selected by a man of great taste.
This weekend, 12 of the world’s top wine and champagne experts flew from all corners of the globe to the boutique Champagne House Perrier-Jouet for the chance to taste 20 historic vintages from the House’s own cellars, including the oldest champagne in the world: Perrier-Jouet Vintage 1825.
Each sip would have been worth hundreds of Pounds/ Euros/ Dollars at auction, according to the Head of the International Wine Department at Sotheby’s, Serena Sutcliffe MW, who co-hosted the tasting with Perrier-Jouet Chef de Cave, Herve Deschamps.
“It is virtually impossible to assign a value to the 1825 vintage – we’ve never seen anything like it on the market! This was, quite simply, the opportunity of a lifetime tasting such exceptional, historic vintages.”
If there was any doubt that the luxury real estate industry is facing financial issues, the latest casualty in Aspen, Sothebyâ€™s International Realty, should dispell that notion.
Sothebyâ€™s closed their doors on Feb 13th, after running into financial difficulties and the franchise will be taken over by a former rival, Morris and Fyrwald Real Estate.
The luxury ski resort business has been hard hit by the financial crisis, and the value of sales in Aspen fell 46% in 2008, with the trend continuing.
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The contents of the late Gianni Versace’s sumptuous mansion on Lake Como (Italy), Villa Fontanelle, are being auctioned off here by Sotheby’s London.
At the “Ferrari Leggenda e Passione”, an exclusive event held annually in Maranello, Italy, during the Mille Miglia, this year on May 17, RM/Sothebys auction will present the 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa race car.
This masterpiece of design and engineering is expected to break the world record for the most expensive vintage motor car ever to be sold at auction.
The record is currently held by a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT SWB California Spyder which was sold for USD 10,894,400 (â‚¬7,040,000, Â£5,598,208 GBP) at least yearâ€™s Ferrari Leggenda e Passione, on May 18, 2008.
Itâ€™s just a whisper at the moment but it may well be the case that Francois Pinault is considering the sale of his Christieâ€™s auction house which he bought in May 1998 for $1.2 billion.
The speculation is based on one obvious fact: at circa â‚¬4.7bn, Artemis, Mr Pinaultâ€™s holding company, is carrying too much debt.
And while all auctions across Bonhams, Sotheby’s and Christie’s haven’t experienced a great year, Christie’s has already cut a couple of departments, shrunk others, let a few employees go and plan more reorganization for the company in January.
One of the most important works by Pablo Picasso to appear on the market over the last several years will be offered by Sothebyâ€™s in New York on the evening of November 3, 2008.
Arlequin dates to 1909, a pivotal moment in the history of modern art; just two years after Picasso completed his watershed composition, Les Demoiselles dâ€™Avignon. Modeled with luminous shades of jade, rose and amber, this spectacular portrait depicts a harlequin, one of the most poignant motifs in the artistâ€™s oeuvre.
For the last 50 years, this jewel of Picassoâ€™s Cubist production has been a treasured possession of the Surrealist artist Enrico Donati, who died earlier this year at the age of 99. He purchased it in the 1940s directly from Daniel Henry Kahnweiler, the legendary dealer of Picasso and the Cubists.
The painting, which is expected to bring over $30 million, has been consigned by Mr. Donatiâ€™s estate. It will be seen by the public for the first time in more than 45 years when it goes on view at Sothebyâ€™s London beginning October 3, 2008. It will then go on display at the Moscow Museum of Modern Art from 16-19 October and Sotheby’s New York from 29 October to 3 November.
Emmanuel Di-Donna, of Sothebyâ€™s, said it was one the “greatest” Cubists to be sold on the open market. He added: “International collectors have not been presented with such a fantastic opportunity to compete for one of the great Picasso portraits since Sotheby’s sale of Dora Maar au chat.
South African born artist Marlene Dumas set a new record this month for the most expensive living female artist, when her painting The Visitor, fetched Â£3.1 million ($6.2million) at a Sotheby’s auction.
Dumas’s painting was sold at the Sotheby’s Contemporary Art Evening Sale held in London on the 1st of July.
The Â£3,177,250 million bid for the painting surpasses Dumas’ previous record of Â£1.8 million set in February 2005.