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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.
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.” Continue reading →
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 wassold 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. Continue reading →
Both Sotheby’s and Christie’s are holding significant Impressionist and Modern evening sales in London this week. “We’re seeing a very strong market for top quality Impressionist paintings this summer,” the vice chairman of Impressionist & Modern Art Worldwide at Sotheby’s, Helena Newman, said.
On Wednesday, Sotheby’s will put up Monet’s “La Plage Ã Trouville” expected to fetch between $14 million and $20 million. “It’s an iconic work,” Ms. Newman said. “Monet was exploring the effects of the wind and the light on the water, all quintessentially Impressionist effects.”
Monet completed his painting in 1870 while vacationing with his wife and son at the tony French resort town of Trouville.
Sothebyâ€™s lately sold a Guarneri violin once a lavish possession by the musician Henri Vieuxtemps to a Russian entrepreneur for the maximum auction price ever paid for any musical instrument. Word is around that Maxim Viktorov paid an unrevealed sum, â€œwell in excessâ€ of pre-recorded last auction of the device. The preceding record was inked by a 1708 Stradivarius identified as the Hammer that got sold for $3.54 million at New-York based Christieâ€™s in May 2006.
Whilst the record for a Guarneri was set up during an auction in 1988, when a 1743 specimen from Cremona generated $1,126,088 at Sothebyâ€™s in London. This proud owner of the Guarneri would be adding it to his existing collection of 15 violins. The violin has not been played in public for almost 70 years, but Viktorov assured that the instrument would now be played frequently in public.