Saturday 25 June 2016

Picasso and Modigliani Lead Sotheby's Impressionist and Modern Sale

Pablo Picasso, Femme assise, 1909. £43.3 million. ($63.6 million)
Sotheby's opened the summer auctions with a 27-lot Impressionist and modern art sale. It had a pre-sale estimate of £81.25 to £101.4 million ($119 to $149 million).

At the end of the night, it had cleared the top hurdle with a £103.3 million ($151 million) total.
An 1890 still life by Paul Gauguin sold for £3.4 million ($5 million).

Amedeo Modigliani's 1919 portrait, Jeanne Hebuterne (au foulard). £38.5 million ($56.6 million)
Making up a large percentage of the estimated value of the sale was a life-size cast of Auguste Rodin's Eve, conceived in 1881 but cast sometime between 1925 and 1940. The estimate, at £8-12 million ($11.7 to 17.6 million), was the highest ever for a posthumously cast Rodin bronze. It failed to find a buyer.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Un Jardin à Sorrente (1881). £581,000 ($852,000).
Georg Scholz's Nachtlicher Larm (Nightly Noise), 1919, a nightmarish memory of the terror of the First World War brought £449,000 ($658,000).

Friday 17 June 2016

Christie’s Hong Kong 2016 spring auctions

Christie’s Hong Kong 2016 spring auctions marked the company’s 30th anniversary in Asia. Top lot was a magnificent large blue and white ‘dragon’ jar (1426-1435), which made US$ 20,447,642. Prince Kung’s ‘Dragon and Phoenix’ Tianhuang Seals achieved a world record price of US$11,024,686.
A pair of 18th-century imperial peach-colored dishes were sold to an Asian dealer for HK$46 million.

A mallow petal writing-brush washer from the Official Kilns of the Song Dynasty raised HK$ 38.2 million

Monday 13 June 2016


Jadeite is a pyroxene mineral with composition NaAlSi2O6. It is monoclinic and has a Mohs hardness of about 6.5 to 7.0 depending on the composition.

The Latin version of the name, lapis nephriticus, is the origin of the term nephrite, another variety of jade. Jadeite is formed in metamorphic rocks under high pressure and relatively low temperature. In all well-documented occurrences, jadeitite appears to have formed from subduction zone fluids in association with serpentinite.

Jadeite from the Motagua Valley, Guatemala, was used by the Olmec and Maya, as well as the indigenous peoples of Costa Rica.

Typically, the most highly valued colors of jadeite are the most intensely green, translucent varieties, though traditionally white has been considered the most valuable of the jades by the Chinese.

Natural Icy Imperial Emerald Green Jadeite Dragon's Fang Pendant 16 carats.
Top-quality jadeite is very rare. Vivid, sleek, and translucent, magnificent jadeite commands some of the highest prices among gems in today’s international market. Jadeite’s three most important qualities, in order of their impact on its market value, are color, transparency, and texture.

The finest-quality jadeite is known as Imperial jade. The royal court of China once had a standing order for all available material of this kind, and it’s one of the world’s most expensive gems.

Jadeite and diamond pendant £180k
Jadeite’s transparency ranges from opaque to semitransparent. The best jadeite is semitransparent. The finest-quality jadeite is usually cut into cabochons.

A jadeite snuff bottle, 1780–1880. It sold for HK$ 1.5 million

A pair of jadeite and diamond ear pendants. Est HK$3,800,000-5,800,000 ($480,000-750,000)

A jadeite ring. Est ($3,500,000-4,800,000)

Art-deco jadeite, enamel, gem-set and diamond brooch from Cartier, circa 1927. HK$7,000,000-8,000,000

Jadite Bangle.($777,816 - $1,037,088)

Sunday 12 June 2016

Diavik Foxfire - one of Canada's largest diamonds

Rio Tinto announced it had unearthed one of Canada’s largest-ever, gem-quality rough diamonds at its Diavik diamond mine in the Northwest Territories, a 187.7-carat stone called the Diavik Foxfire.

The gem, was showcased at Kensington Palace in London, and was later assessed at Rio Tinto’s diamond sales and marketing hub in Antwerp. Rio Tinto, which expects the stone to produce at least a 50 carat polished diamond, did not estimate the gem’s value.

Discovered in August 2015, the diamond is the second or third largest rough diamond mined in Canada and the largest ever for a Rio Tinto diamond mine.
The rough was first noticed in the processing plant, where it caught the attention of a very experienced operator who stopped the machines and pulled the rock out before it got crushed. The diamond is VVS clarity or better, with a tinge of yellow color.

The stone was sold at private tender.
Rio Tinto operates the mine and owns a 60 per cent share, with Dominion Diamond Corp holding the remainder. Late last year, Rio Tinto approved the $350 million expansion at Diavik, with production seen starting in late 2018.

The mine produces six to seven million carats annually of mainly large, white gem quality diamonds. Production is expected to continue until 2023.

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Tuesday 7 June 2016

Expensive Auction Items

It took 8 minutes to set the record price for a piece of art sold at auction. On May 4, 2010 Christie's sold Pablo Picasso's Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, a painting created in one day in 1932, for $106.5m. The painting is of Picasso's lover Marie-Therese Walter.

In 2004 Picasso's Boy with a Pipe (The Young Apprentice), sold for $104.1m

“The Scream,” Edvard Munch (1895) Sold May 2012. $119.9m.

1949 Oyster Perpetual model Rolex with a cloisonné enamel dial, $ 1.2m
“Dora Maar au Chat”, Pablo Picasso (1941). Picasso’s portrait of his mistress with a cat on her shoulder. Sold May 2006. $105.4m.
Marilyn Monroe's "Happy Birthday Mr. President" Dress. $1,267,500

When Marilyn Monroe delivered a sultry "Happy Birthday" serenade to President John F. Kennedy on May 19, 1962, the blonde bombshell wore a flesh-colored, curve-hugging, jewel-encrusted dress so tight and sheer that, according to legend, Monroe was sewn into.
Bartolomeo Giuseppe Antonio Guarnieri was the grandson of one of Stradivari's apprentices, and it was his instrument that broke the world record for the highest-priced violin at auction. $3.9 million. The 250-year-old violin is one of only 250 Guarnieri instruments that survive.

1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. There are only 21 other examples. $12.2 million.

Items belonging to a police officer involved in the Jack the Ripper murders case in 1888 sold at auction for £17,700.

Game-used jersey from AFL Legacy game in 2009. $16,698

Jeff Koons’ stainless-steel “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sold for $58.4m
Napoleon’s Good Luck Charm was commissioned it in 1800 after his return from his Egyptian campaign. The talisman was lost in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. During his hasty retreat from the battlefield, his abandoned personal carriage was capture by a Prussian major.

Napoleon’s sphinx was dug up just after WWII in Noordwijk in the Netherlands, around 200 km from the Waterloo Battlefield. It is now in a private collection. $ 2m.
Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig's autographed and inscribed glove. $287,000.

Most Expensive Sculpture - L’Homme qui marche I. Price: $104.3m

CURTISS JENNY Center Inverted 1918 $200,000

180.4 kg giant bluefin tuna sold for 4.51 million yen ($49,000) in 2015.

1936 Mercedes Benz 540K Special Roadster: $11.7m