9 months ago
If you’re a serious collector, who plunks down millions of dollars on fine art or antiques, it’s safe to say that you cherish those items—hell, you might even consider them “old friends.”
This year marks the 250th anniversary of Christie’s auction house, which has seen countless record-breaking prices realized, and more than a number of “old friends” made. Some of these include a Rothschild Fabergé Egg (1902), which sold in 2007 for $19 million (the type that played into James Bond classic Octopussy; see below); 12 bottles of Château Pétrus 1945 wine that found a buyer for $72,600 in 1997; and more obscure items like a 3,000-year-old Assyrian frieze, discovered in a public school in Dorset, England, that went on to realize $11 million (see below as well). Although it’s that final hammer price that evokes the most oohs and aahs amongst the non-collecting public, it’s difficult not to get sucked into the items’ history.
In an effort to highlight its own storied past and honor some of these standout sales, Christie’s has published a hardcover book via Phaidon, focusing on 250 iconic items—one for each year the auction house has been open to the public. Going Once: 250 Years of Culture, Taste, and Collecting at Christie’s is available now for $59.95. Buy a copy here.
But first, take a gander at some of the items that are featured in the book below, along with the description of each in the header and the hammer price. Sort of makes you want to check out what’s in your attic, doesn’t it?
Carl Fabergé, The Rothschild Fabergé Egg, 1902 – Sold on November 28, 2007, in London – $19 Million
A Royal Blue Wool Crepe Suit, 1989, Worn by Margaret Thatcher – Sold on December 15, 2015, in London – $41,690
Crosby Garrett Helmet (Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet), c. 2nd-3rd Century AD – Sold on October 7, 2010, in London – $3,629,469
Pele’s No. 10 Yellow Brazil Jersey From the 1970 World Cup Final – Sold on March 26, 2002, in London – $173,446
A Gold-Plated Royal Quiet de Luxe Portable Typewriter Owned by James Bond Author Ian Fleming – Sold May 5, 1995, London – $90,309
Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A., ‘The Blue Rigi, Lake of Lucerne, Sunrise,’ 1842 – Sold June 5, 2006, in London – $10,987,488
Assyrian Relief from Room C of the So-Called Northwest Palace Depicting a Winged, Human Headed Genius and a Royal Attendant – Sold on July 6, 1994, in London – $11 Million