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Christie’s Auction House Celebrates 250th Anniversary With New Book

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Prospective bidders at an auction held at Christie's in aid of the Red Cross in 1918
Prospective bidders at an auction held at Christie’s in aid of the Red Cross in 1918 (A. R. Coster/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

 

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

Carl Fabergé, The Rothschild Fabergé Egg, 1902. Sold on November 28, 2007, in London. © Christie’s Images Limited 2016
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016/Phaidon)

 

A Royal Blue Wool Crepe Suit, 1989, Worn by Margaret Thatcher – Sold on December 15, 2015, in London – $41,690

Christie's Phaidon Book
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016/Phaidon)

 

Crosby Garrett Helmet (Roman Cavalry Parade Helmet), c. 2nd-3rd Century AD – Sold on October 7, 2010, in London – $3,629,469

Christie's Phaidon Book
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016/Phaidon)

 

Pele’s No. 10 Yellow Brazil Jersey From the 1970 World Cup Final – Sold on March 26, 2002, in London – $173,446

Christie's Phaidon Book
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016/Phaidon)

A Gold-Plated Royal Quiet de Luxe Portable Typewriter Owned by James Bond Author Ian Fleming – Sold May 5, 1995, London – $90,309

Christie's Phaidon Book
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016, London/Scala, Florence/Phaidon)

 

Joseph Mallord William Turner, R.A., ‘The Blue Rigi, Lake of Lucerne, Sunrise,’ 1842 – Sold June 5, 2006, in London – $10,987,488

Christie's Phaidon Book
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016/Phaidon)

 

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

Christie's Phaidon Book
(Miho Museum/Phaidon)

 

Starship Enterprise-D From ‘Star Trek: The Next Generation,’ c. 1987-94 – Sold October 5–7, 2006, in New York – $500,000

Christie's Phaidon Book
(© Christie’s Images Limited 2016/Phaidon)
Christie's Phaidon Book
Cover of the 250th-anniversary book (Phaidon)