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Posts Tagged ‘Auctions’

Coldplay Singer Buys Banksy Balloon Heart

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A version of British street artist Banksy’s now-iconic heart-shaped balloon from his October “residency” in New York, which was carved out of a wall in Red Hook, Brooklyn and carted down to Art Miami, only to go unsold, has finally found a buyer, and a famous one at that. A tag-free version of the painting, done on wood, was bought by Chris Martin — the lead singer from Coldplay — at actor Sean Penn’s Help Haiti Home Gala in Beverly Hills on Saturday, according to Street Art News. (more…)

Simon de Pury Sells Book “The Auctioneer”

Jet-setting Swiss auctioneer Simon de Pury has sold a book to St. Martin’s Press about the auction world. The former Phillips de Pury chairman, who left that auction house in late 2012 after 12 years in that position when Moscow-based investment firm Mercury Group bought up his shares in the company, is going to be spilling the beans on a world that works hard to keep its beans, for the most part, unspilled. “It will be a look inside the auction world in his voice,” said Jennifer Weis, the executive editor and manager of content development at St. Martin’s, who bought the book for the publisher. “Stories, history, the highlights, the problems, everything.” (more…)

Sotheby’s Sued Over Stamp Sale Snafu

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Sotheby’s is in a sticky situation over its allegedly bungled sale of a Belgian woman’s stamp collection. The unnamed plaintiff claims that in 2009 Sotheby’s France vice-president Alain Renner and stamp expert Grégory Russel visited her in Brussels to appraise a set of 48 stamp albums she’d inherited from her father. The auctioneers estimated the collection to be worth more than €600,000 ($820,000); they returned on June 9, 2009, when they took the collection without taking inventory, the plaintiff claims, and packing it away in boxes picked up from the grocery store next-door.  “But they told me that they were in a hurry and that it would be easier to make an inventory upon their return to Paris,” the philatelist’s daughter told Libération. “I trusted them. And the prestige of Sotheby’s was sufficient to reassure me.” They set a sale date of December 10, 2009. (more…)

Amy Cappellazzo, Christie’s Chairman of Postwar and Contemporary Art Development, is Leaving

Amy Cappellazzo, chairman of postwar and contemporary art development at Christie’s, is leaving. Having joined the auction house in 2001, Cappellazzo will leave in February, as per Carol Vogel of the New York Times, to work as a private dealer and adviser. (more…)

Historic Printing Press Brings $233,000 at Christie’s

kelmscott-press-christiesThe piece of equipment used to create one of the greatest publishing achievements of the Arts & Crafts movement, the Albion 6551 hand press with which William Morris printed the Kelmscott Press’s decorative masterpiece, “The Works of Geoffrey Chaucer,” sold for $233,000 at Christie’s New York on December 6, well over its $100,000-150,000 pre-sale estimate. (more…)

Jane Austen Portrait Brings $270,000 at Sotheby’s

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While Jane Austen’s words are ubiquitous on high school and college curricula, the British scribe’s appearance is the subject of great uncertainty. Few portraits were made of the author during her life — only two are publicly recognized, and one found its way to the auction block on Tuesday and sold at Sotheby’s in London for $270,600, according to the New York Times. James Andrews was commissioned to create the soft watercolor portrait in 1869 by Austen’s nephew James Edward Austen-Leigh for the biography he wrote about his aunt.  Though the portrait was created 52 years after Austen’s death, Sotheby’s expert Gabriel Heaton billed it as “the most important likeness of Jane Austen ever to appear on the open market.” (more…)

Norman Rockwell’s “Saying Grace” Sets New Auction Record for American Painting

American painter Norman Rockwell’s 1951 painting “Saying Grace” (above) sold for $46 million at Sotheby’s today, breaking the auction record for an American painting, more than doubling its pre-sale estimate of $15 to $20 million, and tripling the auction record for the artist. (more…)

Digital Collecting Platform Artusiast Launches, Melding Primary and Secondary Markets

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As the art world heads to Miami for some face-to-face art dealing, a few Berliners are turning to the internet in order to tap into a new generation of collectors and art enthusiasts. Led by former McKinsey analyst Karl Philip Prinzhorn and Lempertz auction house vets Alice Jay von Seldeneck and Kilian Jay von Seldeneck, Artusiast seeks to open up the German and European art market to the online world. By 2020, the trio hopes to attract 100,000 new collectors through the platform. (more…)

Emily Carr’s Moment: David Heffel on Her Record-Breaking Sale

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One of Canada’s leading auction houses reached a new record, November 28, and with it, achieved a further laurel — in a year replete with them — for the late Canadian painter Emily Carr. The Heffel Fine Art Auction House led a live auction Thursday at Toronto’s Park Hyatt Hotel, where a rare, large-format oil painting featuring First Nations subjects and representing Carr’s mature period, “The Crazy Stair,” brought in $3.39 million, the most ever paid at auction for a work by the artist. The price — paid by an anonymous buyer — surpassed its pre-auction estimate of $1.2-1.6 million, and marks the highest amount paid for a work by a Canadian female artist and the fourth-highest price ever paid for a piece in Canadian art auction history. The auction house described the work as “indicative of the artist’s lifelong engagement with First Nations culture.” ARTINFO Canada caught-up with the auction house’s president, David Heffel, shortly after the watershed event, where overall sales totaled more than $13.5 million. (more…)

Iconic Maltese Falcon Prop Brings $4M at Bonhams

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The iconic lead statuette of the Maltese Falcon, from the 1941 film noir classic of the same name, soared to $4 million at Bonhams New York on Monday in a sale carrying the whimsical and lengthy title “What Dreams Are Made Of: A Century of Movie Magic At Auction As Curated by Turner Classic Movies.” The work had an unpublished estimate reportedly in the region of $1.5 million. Dr. Catherine Williamson, Bonhams director of entertainment memorabilia, said “the spectacular price achieved reflects the statuette’s tremendous significance. The Maltese Falcon is arguably the most important movie prop ever, and is central to the history of cinema.” (more…)