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‘Casablanca’ piano auctioned for $600,000, less than expected – UPI.com

December 19, 2012 Leave a comment

This screenshot shows Sydney Greenstreet and H...

NEW YORK, Dec. 15 (UPI) — A piano briefly seen in 1942’s “Casablanca” sold at auction for $602,500, about half of the highest estimates for the item, New York’s Sotheby’s said.

The winning bidder, whose name was not reported, bid $500,000 on the item Friday, though commissions added $102,000 to the total, The New York Times reported. Sotheby’s had estimated the piano would sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million.

The piano was one of two used in “Casablanca,” and was small, with 58 keys, 30 fewer than a conventional piano.

It was used in a flashback scene at a Paris cafe named “La Belle Aurore.” The piano was on camera for 1 minute and 10 seconds, and actor Dooley Wilson, who played Sam in the classic film, mimicked playing it while singing in the film, the Times reported.

Sotheby’s last auctioned the piano in 1988 for $155,000, the second-highest price for Hollywood memorabilia at the time, the newspaper said.

via ‘Casablanca’ piano auctioned for $600,000, less than expected – UPI.com.

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Picasso fetches $41.5 million but Sotheby’s total falls short – Yahoo! News

November 10, 2012 Leave a comment

English: Looking northeast across York Avenue ...

NEW YORK (Reuters) – A 1932 Picasso portrait of his mistress sold for $41.5 million on Thursday at Sotheby’s, helping drive a $163 million total for its sale of Impressionist and modern art which nonetheless fell short of expectations.The auction featured nine works by Picasso led by “Nature morte aux tulipes.” Nearly one-third of the 67 lots on offer went unsold and the auction missed its $170 million low pre-sale estimate.

The two Picasso portraits of his iconic muse Marie-Therese Walter, “Nature morte” and “Femme a la Fenetre,” managed their pre-sale estimates, the latter fetching $17.2 million including commission.

The sale demonstrated “that in this market there continues to be a search for quality,” said Simon Shaw, Sotheby’s head of Impressionist and modern art in New York.

Shaw added there was “active participation from today’s truly global art market,” but in a nod to the spotty results, conceded “there remains some scrutiny over estimates.”

David Norman, Sotheby’s co-chairman of Impressionist and modern art, also cited “increasing participation from South American, Asian and Russian bidders” that marked the sale.

The auction, coming a day after a tepid affair at rival Christie’s which fell short of its $209 million low estimate, is likely to somewhat unsettle the art market to ahead of next week’s sales of post-war and contemporary art, an arena that has seen sharply escalating prices over the past decade.

The results of both sales were remarkably similar, from the prices of their top lots and percentage of works sold to buyers’ carefully controlled bidding.

via Picasso fetches $41.5 million but Sotheby’s total falls short – Yahoo! News.

Sotheby’s sale sets Miro record, others disappoint | Reuters

Reuters – Sotheby’s set a new auction record for Spanish artist Joan Miro on Tuesday when his 1927 painting “Peinture (Etoile Bleue)” fetched 23.6 million pounds ($36.9 million), but elsewhere the sale failed to meet expectations.

Overall, the auctioneer raised 75.0 million pounds ($117.7 million) at its impressionist and modern art evening sale in London, just beating the low estimate of 73 million pounds but falling short when buyer’s premium is taken into account.

The auction was the first in a busy season of sales of fine art in London which, if the highest expectations are met, could raise up to $1 billion.But it painted an uncertain picture, with the New York Times describing proceedings on the night as “lackluster” and “bumpy.”

Confidence in the art market has been sky high in 2012 despite broader economic concerns, with emerging collectors from Russia, China and the Middle East helping push values to record highs as they seek to snap up the most coveted works.

On offer at Sotheby’s was one of Miro’s most important paintings, and the previous auction record for the artist of 16.8 million pounds was comfortably eclipsed.

“His works from this period are supremely modern, timeless and of great universal appeal, making this precisely the type of painting that today’s international collectors are prepared to lock horns over, as they did this evening,” said Helena Newman, head of Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art in Europe.

via Sotheby’s sale sets Miro record, others disappoint | Reuters.

Strange Random Auction Quote:

“I used to save all my rejection slips because I told myself, one day I’m going to autograph these and auction them. And then I lost the box.” – James Lee Burke

Why the Emancipation Proclamation Is Worth Only 2% of ‘The Scream’ – Businessweek

In 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed an executive order that freed slaves in the non-Union states—and he signed 48 copies. The original version of the Emancipation Proclamation is in the National Archives, but several copies are privately owned. One of those will be put up for sale at the Robert Siegel Auction Galleries on June 26 and is expected to fetch between $1.8 million and $2.5 million. Bloomberg Businessweek spoke with Seth Kaller, the historian who authenticated and appraised the document and has agreed to sell it for the owner. Kaller explained the origins of the document, which U.S. presidents bring in the most money at auction, and why historical papers are so much cheaper than works of art.

Wait, so Lincoln signed 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation? Why’d he bother to do that?

One of the ways that the Northern public supported the troops during the Civil War was through an organization called the Sanitary Commission. They helped makes soldiers’ conditions in the camps better by improving administering medicine, providing items for personal comfort, and supplying pens and paper so they could write home. Think of it as something similar to the Red Cross and USO put together.

To raise money for all of this, the Sanitary Commission held what were called Sanitary Fairs. They sold artwork, autographs—anything of value that people donated to them. Lincoln was very popular in the North, at least, so some abolitionists asked him to sign a number of copies of the Emancipation Proclamation, which they sold for $10 a piece. There were 48 originally but only 26 remain now.

Who has them?

Eighteen are in museums or libraries. One of those is on loan right now to the White House. Eight are in private hands. But several of those are slated to go to museums in the coming years. I sold three of them in the $1 million-plus range a few years ago. The most interesting one has been the one that went for $3.77 million at Sotheby’s BID in 2010. It was the same as the others but it had the added bonus that in 1964 or ’65, when Bobby Kennedy was involved in the civil rights movement, he bought the copy.

via Why the Emancipation Proclamation Is Worth Only 2% of ‘The Scream’ – Businessweek.

Strange Random History Quote:

History has to be rewritten because history is the selection of those threads of causes or antecedents that we are interested in. – O. W. Holmes, Jr.

Warhol could fetch $85 million at auction | WORLD News

An iconic portrait of Elvis Presley by pop artist Andy Warhol is poised to fetch as much as $70 million (NZD$85) million when it hits the auction block in May, Sotheby’s said today.

The life-size painting, Double Elvis (Ferus Type) from 1963, epitomises Warhol’s obsessions with fame, stardom and the public image, according to Sotheby’s.

Estimated to sell for $40 million to $70 million, it will be included in the auction house‘s May 9 sale of post-war and contemporary art.

“The silver background of Double Elvis (Ferus Type), along with the subtle variations in tone give the serial imagery a sense of rhythmic variation that recalls the artist’s masterpiece, 200 One Dollar Bills completed the previous year,” Sotheby’s said in a statement.

That work soared to nearly $53 million or four times its estimate in 2009, when the art market was reeling from the financial crisis that struck in 2008. It was the highlight of the season, and achieved the highest price of any work at the fall auctions.

In the Double Elvis work, Presley is dressed as a cowboy, shooting a gun. Sotheby’s described him in the work “a Hollywood icon of the sixties rather than the rebellious singer who shook the world of music in the sixties.”

The double in the title refers to a shadowy image of Presley in the same pose that appears next to him in the work.

via Warhol could fetch $85 million at auction | WORLD News.

Strange Random Andy Warhol Quote:

I read an article on me once that described my machine-method of silk-screen copying and painting:
‘What a bold and audacious solution, what depths of the man are revealed in this solution!’
What does that mean?

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Will Lyons on Wine: Journeying Into the Heart of Bordeaux – WSJ.com

January 16, 2012 Leave a comment

An assortment of French wine from the Saint Ém...

Despite a slew of astonishing fine-wine sales from the leading auction houses, which saw Bonhams, Christie’s, Sotheby’s and wine auctioneers Acker Merrall & Condit sell more than $300 million £194.4 million worth of wine, 2011 looks to be the year when the boom in Bordeaux‘s finest wines suffered a little indigestion.

Falls were as much as 20% in the last six months of the year, with blue-chip châteaux such as Lafite Rothschild 2008 dropping from around £14,000 for a case last January to around £8,000 today, according to Live-ex’s Fine Wine 100 Index, which tracks the price movement of the world’s 100 most sought-after wines. It’s still a tidy profit for whoever bought it when it was first released in 2009 at around £1,600 a case, but a sharp fall for anyone who purchased last spring.

But a return to pre-2009 vintage prices would be most welcome for the swathe of consumers who have been priced out of the market. It could also have the welcome effect of introducing these spectacular wines to a younger demographic, which hasn’t had the capital or the inclination to explore the classed growths of this fascinating region.

If demand from China and Hong Kong continues, I very much doubt the big names from the glamour appellations such as Pauillac and Margaux, or the communes of Pomerol and Saint-Émilon on the Right Bank will be inclined to drop their prices.

For those looking for that quintessential Bordeaux character of blackcurrant and cedar, which always reminds me of an empty cigar box, and rich, ripe roundness, it is worth casting your net further. Saint-Julien is one appellation that perhaps flounders against the reputation of its neighbors.

via Will Lyons on Wine: Journeying Into the Heart of Bordeaux – WSJ.com.

Strange Random Wine Quote:

“Old wood best to burn, old wine to drink, old friends to trust, and old authors to read.” – Sir Francis Bacon (English Lawyer and Philosopher. 1561-1626)

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Klimt landscape fetches $40m – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation

November 4, 2011 1 comment

KLimt - Litzlberg am Attersee

A landscape by painter Gustav Klimt that was stolen by the Nazis then returned this year to the family of the Jewish owner has sold for a huge $US40.4 million at Sotheby’s in New York.

The painting, Litzlberg am Attersee Litzlberg on the Attersee, easily topped its pre-sale high estimate of $US25 million at the impressionist and modern sale.

Depicting a pastoral scene of towering, wooded hills rising from water into a bright sky, the landscape was stolen after the German annexation of Austria in 1938.

It was only returned this year to Georges Jorisch, grandson of the woman who owned it until the Nazis came.

Sotheby’s autumn sale saw stronger results than rival Christies, which had a poor night on Tuesday, with several of the main works, including a Degas bronze sculpture, failing to find buyers.

via Klimt landscape fetches $40m – ABC News Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Strange Random Art Quote:

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don’t like – then cultivate it. That’s the only part of your work that’s individual and worth keeping. – Jean Cocteau

 

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