Shane Ferro
Art market news and commentary by the staff of Art+Auction

MARKET WATCH: Art market news and commentary by the staff of Art+Auction

Paddle8 Lures BAM Curator Dave Harper

After announcing $6 million in new funding last month, art site Paddle8.com continues to grow its management team at a brisk pace. The latest hire is Dave Harper, who has been appointed director of special projects and client development. For the past six years, Harper has served at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, where he was the famed institution’s inaugural curator of visual art. Continue Reading

Fireworks at Record Paris Contemporary Sales

Basquiat, Crown Hotel

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Sale of the Week, April 14-20: Giant Gemstones Hit the Block at New York Jewelry Auctions

SALE: Jewels

LOCATION: Christie’s and Sotheby’s New York

DATE: April 16 (Christie’s) and April 17 (Sotheby’s)

ABOUT: Next week, Sotheby’s will auction off a rock it calls “the most important white diamond ever to appear at auction in the Americas.” The massive, 74.79-carat stone is pear-shaped, D-color, and “potentially flawless” according to the auction house. It alone could bring $9-12 million of the $35 million estimated to come out of the April 17 sale at the house’s York Avenue headquarters. Continue Reading

Sale of the Week, April 7-13: Vintage Timepieces at Antiquorum New York

SALE: Antique and Vintage Timepieces

LOCATION: Antiquorum New York

DATE: April 10

ABOUT: Watch lovers will descend on New York next week for Antiquorum’s vintage timepiece sale. In addition to the standout cover lot, a 1951 Patek Philippe Ref. 1518 in pink gold (est. $400,000-600,000), the sale includes a number of timepieces made by the legendary Danish watchmaker Svend Andersen.

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Christie’s Puts a Giant Fossilized Egg on the Block, Hopes It Will Crack Five Figures

Christie’s is about to sell a really big egg. The auction house will offer a fossilized elephant-bird egg from Madagascar at its travel and science sale on April 24 in London (at its South Kensington outpost). The fossil is a foot long and about nine inches in diameter, according to the Associated Press, and could bring almost $50,000. Continue Reading

Paintings From Cottone’s Fine Art Sales Soar Past Estimates

The art, antiques, and collectible auction house Cottone, in Geneseo, N.Y., surpassed expectations at its two-day fine art sale this past weekend. A 1920 William Wendt landscape painting of sycamore trees, “Patriarchs of the Grove,” doubled its high estimate to fetch $300,000. Meanwhile, an impressionistic Manhattan skyline by Jonas Lie also toppled its $50,000-$80,000 presale estimate, bringing in a lofty $126,500. Finally, a set of late 19th-century bronze Russian warriors by Evgenii Lanceray also had a $50,000-$80,000 estimate, but did nearly just as well with their $115,000 total.

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Sale of the Week, March 31-April 6: A Spring Photo Frenzy at Phillips

SALE: “Spring Photographs” and “The Curious Collector”

LOCATION: Phillips New York

DATE: April 2-3, 2013

ABOUT: The sprawling collection of Dr. Anthony Terrana kicks off Phillips’s photography sales next week, bringing 165 photographs that date back to the 19th century in an afternoon and evening auction on April 2.

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Sotheby’s Sells Disputed Precolombian Artifacts, With Only Moderate Success

Sotheby’s Paris has been under fire for the past few weeks from four Latin American countries, which have accused the auction house of putting illegally exported artworks on the block. Despite protests from Peru, Mexico, Guatemala and Costa Rica, Sotheby’s went ahead with the sale over the weekend. However, fewer half of the 313 lots offered from the collection of Jean Paul Barbier-Mueller found buyers, and the sale total was a mere €10,296,300 ($13,375,000) — far below the $19-24 million estimate.

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Sale of the Week, March 24-30: Sex and Celebs at Sante D’Orazio Selling Exhibition

SALE: “Other Graces: Photographs by Sante D’Orazio”

LOCATION: Christie’s New York

DATE: March 29-April 19

ABOUT: Before Terry Richardson and Tyler Shields burst onto the scene, there was Sante D’Orazio, the 56-year-old photographer who has, over the past three decades, carved out a pretty cozy niche for himself as one of the fashion world’s top chroniclers of celebrity, youth, and sex. He’s worked for nearly all of the Vogues, the men’s mags, and, in his spare time, has taken to shooting famous artists.

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Garage Sale Bowl, Originally $3, Sells for $2 Million at Sotheby’s Chinese Ceramics Sale

You know it’s Asia Week when ridiculous reports of ceramics selling at 10+ times their estimates start rolling in: Continue Reading