This inscribed silver matchbox holder by Padgett and Braham Ltd. attracted more bids than any other lot at Sotheby’s in 2014.
Provenance was the key to the lot that attracted the highest number of bids at Sotheby’s in 2014 – a silver matchbox holder. There were 71 bids for the children’s Christmas present to Winston Churchill in 1927, an inscribed silver matchbox holder by Padgett and Braham Ltd. It was sold for £68,500 over an estimate of £300-500.
It attracted more bids that Georgia O’Keeffe’s Jimson Weed, which established a record price for a female artist of $44.4 and the British Guiana one cent black on magenta stamp which sold for a world record price of $9.4 million. It got more bids than the most valuable timepiece in history, the Patek Philippe Henry Graves Supercomplication which made US$24 million and Mark Rothko’s Untitled which sold for $39.9 million, almost double the high estimate. The highest price paid at Sotheby’s in 2014 was $100,965,000 for Alberto Giacometti’s Chariot.
There was a world record per carat price of $997,727 when the Graff Ruby sold for $8.6 million. A fancy blue diamond pendant from the collection of Mrs. Paul Mellon sold for $32,645,000 or $3,348,205 per carat. This was a new auction record for any blue diamond and price per carat record for any diamond. A world record for the most expensive wine lot was established when a Romanee Conti super lot of 114 bottles sold for US$1.7 million