Bidding for Time
(continued from page 1)
Even in this buoyant art market, discriminating buyers sometimes snub pictures carrying historical baggage. In this instance, the world-class Picasso had previously been sold at auction for a handsome $12.1 million at Christie's New York in 1995, apparently too recently for this market to endorse.
The following week at Christie's New York's edgy contemporary art sale, a larger-than-life porcelain sculpture by Jeff Koons of the Pink Panther cartoon character roared to a record $1.8 million, dwarfing the artist's previous mark of $409,500 and more than doubling the piece's pre-sale high estimate. It probably helped that the adorable creature was embracing a busty blonde temptress, but the sculpture's rarity--"only" three other versions of the cast exist--was the primary reason that the market went absolutely wild. Rarity is a big plus at this stratospheric level. Kent Logan, the San Francisco-based investment magnate and contemporary art collector, was the lucky seller.
Quality and freshness to the market were winning traits on December 14 at Christie's Beverly Hills in a sale of twentieth-century and contemporary art when Richard Serra's unique steel sculpture, Untitled (Isosceles Triangle), raced to $277,500 from an estimate of $70,000 to $90,000. The brawny 8-foot-by-8-foot abstraction was executed by the acclaimed sculptor in 1975 and acquired by the late consignor in 1978. The 20-plus years off the market helped create the atmosphere for a stunning result.
For tighter budgets, Andy Warhol's Details of Renaissance Paintings: Sandro Botticelli, Birth of Venus, 1482, a portfolio of four signed and numbered screen prints from 1984 that interpret the storied beauty, sold for $32,200 (est. $15,000-$20,000) at Christie's Beverly Hills on December 13.
AUCTION PREVIEWS Back-to-back evening sales of entertainment memorabilia and vintage Hollywood film posters fittingly showcase Butterfield & Butterfield's March 13 and 14 auctions in Los Angeles.
For the tradition-minded, a signed photograph of smoky screen legend Humphrey Bogart, elegantly suited and clutching a cigarette (est. $1,500-$2,500), competes alongside a sepia-toned, signed photo of silent screen heartthrob Rudolph Valentino, outfitted in a striped turban for his title role as a desert chieftain in the 1921 film, The Sheik (est. $2,000-$3,000). Despite the period look of the pose, Valentino is sporting a circa 1920 wristwatch.
On the edgy side, a decidedly amateurish group of unpublished photographs by the late rock icon Jim Morrison, taken during his student days at UCLA, will tempt die-hard fans (est. $1,500-$2,500).
The sales preview at Butterfield's Sunset Boulevard showroom from March 10 to 12 and the partially illustrated catalogueis available for viewing on-line at www.Butterfields.com. Or contact Michael Schwartz, Butterfield's entertainment memorabilia specialist, at (323) 850-7500. --JT
RECENT WRISTWATCH PRICES REALIZED AT AUCTION
AT ANTIQUORUM, DECEMBER 1, 1999 Rolex Cosmograph Daytona (the so-called Paul Newman model), 18K yellow gold with round-button chronograph, registers and tachometer, circa 1970s, $29,900 (est. $25,000-$30,000) Cartier Santos Chronoreflex with 18K pink gold Cartier deployant clasp, $2,300 (est. $2,000-$2,500) International Watch Co. Schaffhausen Grande Complication, minute repeating, platinum case with 44 hours autonomy, perpetual calendar and moon phases, 1990, $57,500 (est. $38,000-$42,000)
AT SOTHEBY'S NEW YORK, OCTOBER 26, 1999 Rolex Oyster Perpetual, 18K gold case, self-winding, calendar wristwatch with moon phases, circa 1945, $82,250 (est. $40,000-$50,000) Patek Philippe pink-gold perpetual calendar chronograph with date, moon phases and register, circa 1997, $41,400 (est. $30,000-$35,000) Audemars Piguet platinum rectangular minute repeating, jump hour, circa 1992, $37,950 (est. $35,000-$40,000)
AT CHRISTIE'S NEW YORK, OCTOBER 26, 1999 Patek Philippe 18K pink-gold perpetual calendar, split-second chronograph with moon phases, 28 jewels, recent, $74,000 (est. $80,000-$100,000) Audemars Piguet limited-edition (10 pieces), platinum cushion-shaped minute repeating wristwatch with black dial, circa 1998, $40,250 (est. $35,000-$40,000) Rolex 18K two-color gold rectangular wristwatch with a stainless steel and pink-gold Rolex bracelet and clasp, circa 1938 $16,100 (est. $13,500-$14,500)
Log in if you're already registered.
Search our database of more than 17,000 cigar tasting notes by score, brand, country, size, price range, year, wrapper and more, plus add your favorites to your Personal Humidor.