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    Sunday, February 17th, 2019
    George Michael’s art collection – which will come under the hammer at Christie’s in London on March 14 – is a snapshot of the YBA (Young British Art) Movement. It comprises work by artists like Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Sarah Lucas, Michael Craig-Martin and Marc Quinn.
    Christie’s say the collection represents George Michael’s dedication to cutting edge creativity in every field and reflects his instinctive support of young emerging artistic talent. Proceeds will be used to continue George Michael’s philanthropic work.
    The flagship auction will take place alongside an online sale which will be open for bidding from March 8-15. Estimates range from £400 to £1.5 million.
    Key works will include Tracey Emin’s Drunk to the Bottom of my Soul (2002), Damien Hirst’s The Incomplete Truth, 2006, Bridget Riley’s Songbird, 1982 and Michael Craig-Martin’s Commissioned Portrait Untitled (George) 2007.
    The singer and songwriter, who died on Christmas Day in 2016, was one of the most influential and best selling artists of all time.  Through visits to galleries and artists’ studios he developed friendships with many of the YBA artists.  Wham! was the first major western act to perform in China with two historic concerts in 1985.  Christie’s global tour of this collection will include a stop in Shanghai, as well as New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. The collection will be on view at King St. in London from March 9-14.
    Jussi Pylkkanen, global president, Christie’s commented: : “The viewing of over 200 works of art from the private collection will provide a fascinating insight into the broader tastes of a man who was deeply admired all over the world”.
    George Michael’s trustees say that philanthropic work was hugely important for George during his lifetime and it was his wish that this would continue after his passing.

    Tracey Emin – Drunk to the bottom of my soul (£180,000-250,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2019.

    Michael Craig-Martin – Commissioned Portrait Untitled (George) (wall mounted LCD monitor/computer) (£40,000-60,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2019.

    Damien Hirst – The Incomplete Truth (£1-£1.5 million) Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2019.

    Bridget Riley – Songbird (£400,000-600,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2019.


    Monday, February 4th, 2019

    Albrecht Dürer (1471-1528) The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse

    There was a new world record for a woodcut from Albrecht Durer’s Apocalypse series at Christie’s in New York.  Durer’s The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse made $612,500 against a high estimate of $350,000.  It was the top lot at Christie’s Old Master Prints sale which realised $4.89 million.

    Other great results were achieved for Saint Jerome reading in an Italian Landscape by Rembrandt ($468,500) and Martin Schongauer’s The Death of the Virgin from The Collections of Herschel V. And Carl W. Jones, Minneapolis which achieved $492,500, setting a new record price for the artist. 

    Further artist records were set for the Master E.S., whose Madonna of Einsiedeln: Large Version, also from the Jones collection, achieved $372,500, and Israhel van Meckenem’s Bust of an Oriental Man, which sold for $81,250. Another record was achieved for a print by Jean-Etienne Liotard, whose Large Self-Portrait sold for $75,000.

     The auction was sold 76% by lot and 93% by value.


    Friday, February 1st, 2019

    The Heart of Space meteorite.

    The Heart of Space, an iconic iron meteorite in the shape of a heart, will highlight Christie’s fifth annual online auction of meteorites.  It will run from February 6 to 14.  The Heart of Space originates from one of the biggest meteorite showers of the last several thousand years, which occurred in Siberia on February 12, 1947.

    The shockwaves from the explosion collapsed chimneys, shattered windows and uprooted trees; sonic booms were heard nearly 200 miles away and eyewitnesses thought the world was ending. Among the meteorites to land on Earth that day was a natural sculptural form from outer space in the shape of a heart. It’s the result of unlikely yet fortuitous cleavage along its crystalline planes as it burned through Earth’s atmosphere — a fiery plunge that thumb-printed the surface and evokes the texture of a Giacometti. It is estimated at $300,000 – $500,000.  There are 45 lots in the sale.


    Friday, January 25th, 2019

    The wardrobe of Catherine Deneuve designed by Yves Saint Laurent achieved a total of $1,025,581 at Christie’s in Paris last night. The auction lasted 5 hours, witnessing fierce competition from around the globe.  The sale was 100% sold and 90% of all 129 lots sold multiple times above their pre-sale estimates.   The top lot was the Haute Couture evening ensemble of the unique and very sought after Russian Collection, which Mr. Saint Laurent designed for the Fall/Winter collection of 1977/78. Selling at €52,500 it surpassed its high pre-sale estimate by 10 times.   A  short beaded dress designed by Yves Saint Laurent for the Spring/Summer collection of 1969, which the actress wore when she met Alfred Hitchcock the same year in company of Philippe Noiret and François Truffaut, sold for €42,500 against a pre-sale estimate of €3,000-5,000.  Amongst the most sought-after pieces was the famous YSL smoking which she wore at the occasion of Yves Saint Laurent’s 20th anniversary celebration.  It set a new world auction record for any smoking at €20,000.

    The online-only sale offers another 140 items from Catherine Deneuve’s YSL wardrobe and will conclude on January 30.

    (See post on for January 13, 2019)

    The 1977 Russian Collection Photo Jean Luce Hure

    Smoking set a new world record


    Sunday, January 13th, 2019

    Catherine Deneuve’s wardrobe, including many one off pieces made by Yves St. Laurent, will be sold by Christie’s in Paris on January 24.  Now 75 the French actress is selling her property n Normandy where the clothes are kept.   The French actor was muse to Laurent for many years.  At the celebrations for the 40th anniversary of his career in 2002 she told him: “My most beautiful love affair is with you”.

    Around 300 lots are to be sold, half at Christie’s in Paris and the rest in an online auction. There are evening dresses worn by Deneuve in Cannes, Hollywood and Venice as well as trench coats and colourful dress suits.  The online only sale will offer a larger number of lots along with some cocktail dresses. The beaded evening dress featured here was exhibited at the Met in New York in 1993. Deneuve wore the dress at a ceremony in 1969 where she met Alfred Hitchcock, Philippe Noiret and Francois Truffaut. Deneuve wore the gold lurex dress featured here to the 2000 Oscars ceremony for the nomination of Est-West by Regis Wargnier in the Best International Film category.

    UPDATE:  The live auction of the wardrobe of Catherine Deneuve designed by Yves Saint Laurent achieved a total of $1,025,581 and sell-through rates of 100%. The interest in the sale was so immense that 90% of all 129 lots sold multiple times above their pre-sale estimates. The auction lasted 5 hours, witnessing fierce competition from around the globe.

    This YSL beaded evening dress is from the Haute Couture Spring Summer 1969 Collection (£3,000-5,000).  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR 42,500

    A gold lurex velvet draped evening dress YSL Haute Couture Spring Summer 1995 (2,000-3,000).  UPDATE:  THIS SOLD FOR 33,700


    Friday, December 14th, 2018

    There was a new world auction record to Tiffany Studios at Christie’s Design auction in New York when a rare Pond Lily lamp made $3.3 million.  The lamp dates to c1903.  The sale totalled $8.4 million and was sold 84% by lot and 96% by value.

    A three part centrepiece by Francois Xavier Lalanne made $250,000 over a top estiamte of $150,000 and an urn by Frank Lloyd Wright made $567,500.

    A single owner French Art Nouveau glass sale Masterpieces in Glass: The Nakamoto Collection brought in $2.7 million. The top lot of this auciton was a Lys vase by Émile Gallé which sold for $444,500.  This is the second highest press ever achieved for Galle.


    Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

    The Einstein letter

    There was a world auction record for an Einstein letter when The God Letter sold for $2.89 million at Christie’s in New York.  In the handwritten letter the physicist expresses doubts about the existence of God.  There was a four minute bidding battle between two telephone clients at the sale.

    Other results in the Fine Printed Books & Manuscripts included $81,250 for a collection of original printing blocks for the first editions of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection realised $162,500 and the rare true first edition of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone which achieved a world auction record for Harry Potter and more than doubled the high estimate to sell for $162,500.


    Thursday, November 29th, 2018

    The Macallan 1926 in a bottle painted by Michael Dillon.

    There was a world record price for a bottle of whisky at Christie’s in London today when The Macallan 1926 sold for £1.2 million.  The 60 year old malt in a unique bottle painted by the Irish artist Michael Dillon came up at Christie’s sale of finest and rarest wines and spirits. The previous record of £848,000 was established at Bonhams in Edinburgh earlier this year.

    The Macallan distillery located near the river Spey in North East Scotland was founded in 1824 and produces stunning examples of cask-matured single malts, particularly their highly prized single-cask, limited edition bottlings and Fine & Rare Collection. The Macallan 60-Year-Old 1926 takes this rarity to new heights for collectors of Macallan whisky. Peter Blake, the renowned artist responsible for the album cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and Valerio Adami were each asked to design a label for this special 1926 Macallan 60-Year-Old malt, and 12 individually numbered bottles from each artist were released after the whisky had spent 60 years maturing in ex-sherry casks prior to bottling in 1986. Less well-known was that one bottle of this ultra-rare elixir was commissioned and hand-painted by Irish artist Michael Dillon. The bottle depicts the Easter Elchies House of The Macallan against the backdrop of the Scottish Highlands.

    (See post on for October 4, 2018)


    Friday, November 16th, 2018

    David Hockney – Portrait of the artist (Pool with two figures)

    David Hockney has become the world’s most expensive living artist.   His Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures)  sold at Christie’s in New York last night for$90,312,500. It had been estimated at up to $80 million.  After the bidding passed the $70 million mark there was a ten minute bidding battle between two rival bidders on the telephone.

    The previous living artist record was held by Jeff Koons whose stainless steel  Balloon Dog (Orange) sold for $58 million in 2013.

    The Post-War and Contemporary Art Evening Sale sale attracted buyers from 33 countries across five continents and totalled $357,622,500.

    There were five new auction records for Hockey, Sam Gilliam (Lady Day  II made $2.1 million), Pierre Soulages (Peinture 186 x 143 cm, 23 december 1959 made $10.6 million), Robert Colescott (Cultural Exchange made$912,500)  and a record for a work on paper by Philip Guston (Windown $3.1 million).


    Saturday, November 10th, 2018

    The most iconic Edward Hopper painting left in private hands comes up at Christie’s in New York on November 13. With an estimate of $70-100 million Chop Suey is poised to smash the record for a Hopper. Here is a video from Christie’s about the work.  UPDATE: THIS SOLD FOR $91,875,000 MILLION TO BECOME THE MOST EXPENSIVE HOPPER EVER BOUGHT AT AUCTION.