Pink Star, a flawless 59.6-carat pink diamond will be auctioned in the Swiss city of Geneva at a record asking price of $60 million, Sotheby’s auction house says.
Sotheby’s says the oval-cut stone will become the most valuable diamond ever to be offered at auction.
Sotheby’s David Bennett says the diamond belongs in “the ranks of the earth’s greatest natural treasures”.
Pink Star is over twice the size of the 24.78-carat “Graff Pink” diamond that set the world auction record for $46.2 million.
Pink Star diamond will be auctioned in Geneva at a record asking price of $60 million
The diamond, which was mined by De Beers in Africa in 1999, has received the highest possible color and clarity rating from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
Pink Star weighed 132.5 carats in the rough, and was cut and polished over a period of two years by Steinmetz Diamonds, the New York-based auction house said in a statement on Wednesday.
“I have had the privilege of examining some of the greatest gemstones in the world over the past 35 years, and I can say, without hesitation, that the Pink Star diamond is of immense importance,” said David Bennett, chairman of Sotheby’s jewellery division in Europe and the Middle East.
He said it was very rare to have vivid pink diamonds weighing only five carats, “so this 59.6-carat stone is simply off any scale”.
Pink Star, which was previously known as the “Steinmetz Pink”, was sold privately in 2007 but neither the price nor the owner was disclosed.
The auction is scheduled to take place on November 13.
Sotheby’s will also auction a white diamond and a blue diamond, valued at more than $28 million and $19 million respectively, in Hong Kong in October.
A rare Chinese bowl bought for $3 at a New York state garage sale has sold for $2.2 million at Sotheby’s auction.
The 1,000-year-old Ding bowl from the Northern Song Dynasty was bought for $3 in 2007.
The bowl was displayed on the mantelpiece of a New York family who had no idea of its real worth, auctioneers Sotheby’s said.
It sparked a sales battle before being snapped up by London dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi on Tuesday.
Sotheby’s originally estimated that the bowl, which measures just 5 inches in diameter, would sell for $300,000 at most.
The 1,000-year-old Ding bowl from the Northern Song Dynasty was bought for $3 in 2007
Giuseppe Eskenazi, recognized as one of the most important dealers in Oriental art in the world, paid more than seven times its estimated value.
The art dealer entered into a “prolonged” fight with three other collectors, Sotheby’s said.
Sotheby’s said the bowl is a “remarkable and exceptionally beautiful example of Song pottery, celebrated for its thin potting, fine near-white body and ivory colored glaze”.
The only known bowl of the same form, size and almost identical decoration has been in the collection of the British Museum in London for more than 60 years, after being left to the museum by the prominent British collector Henry J. Oppenheim in 1947.
Sotheby’s said Song ceramics are increasingly being sought after by Chinese art collectors.
Mick Jagger’s handwritten love letters to his former lover Marsha Hunt will go on the auction in London next month.
Marsha Hunt is an American-born singer who was the inspiration for Rolling Stones’ 1971 classic Brown Sugar and bore Mick Jagger’s first child, Karis.
Sotheby’s said Saturday that Marsha Hunt has tasked the auction house with selling 10 letters written from the set of Tony Richardson’s film Ned Kelly starring Mick Jagger, which was shooting in Australia.
Marsha Hunt, 66, said she decided to put the private correspondence under the hammer because she is “broke” and unable to pay her bills or make repairs to her home, according to ABC News.
“Someone, I hope, will buy those letters, as our generation is dying,” she said.
“And with us will go the reality of who we were and what life was.”
The singer, who lives in France, went on to say that the letters chronicling their “delicate love affair” that was kept secret until 1972 touch on subjects such as the first moon landing and John Lennon and Yoko Ono.
“When a serious historian finally examines how and why Britain’s boy bands affected international culture and politics, this well-preserved collection of Mick Jagger’s hand written letters will be a revelation,” Marsha Hunt said in a statement distributed by the auction house.
Marsha Hunt is an American-born singer who was the inspiration for Rolling Stones’ 1971 classic Brown Sugar and bore Mick Jagger’s first child, Karis
When asked by reporters if Mick Jagger agreed to having his letters sold off, Marsha Hunt said she didn’t think so, but added that the correspondence did not belong to him.
“This is Mick in his own words…This is part of English history, it is part of rock history, part of cultural history and it corrects all the misinformation,” she said, according to Rolling Stone.
Sotheby’s books specialist Gabriel Heaton said the letters sent in the summer of 1969 show a “poetic and self-aware” 25-year-old Mick Jagger, who wrote about the works of Emily Dickinson and meeting the author Christopher Isherwood.
In his letters, the rock star also touches upon the unraveling of his relationship with singer Marianne Faithful, whom he was also dating at the time, and the death of Rolling Stones’ guitarist Brian Jones.
“They provide a rare glimpse of Jagger that is very different from his public persona: passionate but self-contained, lyrical but with a strong sense of irony,” Gabriel Heaton said.
Sotheby’s said the collection, which includes song lyrics and a Rolling Stones playlist, is expected to fetch between $111,300 and $159,000 and will go under the hammer on December 12.
More than $1 billion worth of art will come under the hammer in New York’s autumn art auctions, which start later.
Highlights of the four nights of sales include works by Picasso, Monet, Rothko and Andy Warhol.
Officials from the auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s have described the current art market as “exuberant”.
Earlier this year Edvard Munch’s The Scream set a new auction record for art when it sold for $120 million.
Experts have said there is little chance of that record being surpassed but expect Claude Monet’s Nympheas and Mark Rothko’s No1 (Royal Red and Blue) to be sold for about $50 million.
Brooke Lampley, Christie’s head of Impressionist and Modern Art, ascribed the inflationary bubble in the art world to growing demand.
“Participation in our major sales is more global than ever, with buyers from growing markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East,” she said.
The company’s Americas chairman, Marc Porter, said the high quality of lots at Christie’s Post-Impressionist and Contemporary auctions was in part due to what he called “discretionary sellers” – collectors who decide to realize their assets.
More than $1 billion worth of art will come under the hammer in New York’s autumn art auctions
Analysts have said rising prices for the rarest works have encouraged owners to offer prized possessions for sale.
With new buyers from China, Russia and Qatar willing to pay what it takes to secure iconic works, the prices at auction have risen sharply.
But some experts have warned the disparity between art values and the broader economy cannot continue and that while the most coveted works are rising in value, other sectors of the art market are less buoyant.
The four nights of sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s get under way later with Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale. Its highlight is expected to be Monet’s Nympheas.
On Thursday Sotheby’s will belatedly stage its own Impressionist auction. The sale has been delayed for three days because of the damage caused to New York and its infrastructure by Hurricane Sandy.
Among the 68 lots there is much interest in Pablo Picasso’s Still Life with Tulips, painted in 1932 in under three hours.
This disguised portrait of his mistress, Marie Therese Walter, fetched $28.6 million when it was last sold in 2000. Its estimate this time round is between $35 million and $50 million.
Next week the two auction houses stage their contemporary sales, where works include Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled 1981. Its sale could set a new record for the painter.
Basquiat rose from being an obscure graffiti artist in New York to become one of the city’s most lionized artists before his death of a heroin overdose in 1988.
Most expensive works sold at auction
• The Scream by Edvard Munch – $120 million , May 2012
• Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso – $106 million, April 2010
• L’Homme qui Marche by Alberto Giacometti – $104 million, January 2010
• Boy with a Pipe by Pablo Picasso – $104 m, May 2004
• Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt – $88 million, November 2006
A rare functioning Apple 1 computer – the company’s first product – has been sold at a New York auction for $374,500.
The price was more than double Sotheby’s high estimate and sets a new record for the collector’s item.
A memo written by Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs when he worked at Atari sold for $27,500 at the same New York event.
The original estimate for the four-page handwritten note was up to $15,000.
Only about 200 Apple 1s were ever created. The computers were hand-built by Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak and originally sold for $666.66 as a fully assembled circuit board.
A rare functioning Apple 1 computer, the company's first product, has been sold at a New York auction for $374,500
He later said he picked a sum with a repeating number “because it was just an easier way to type”.
Only about 50 Apple 1s are still believed to be in existence. The auctioned model is one of the very few that still works.
Sotheby’s said there was a battle between two parties for the item which also included the original manuals. A set of bids was executed by the auctioneer on behalf of an absentee collector, but a telephone bidder proved more persistent and eventually clinched the sale.
Their identity has not been revealed.
The Atari memo was written in 1974 and consists of four pages detailing the late Steve Jobs’ thoughts on how to improve its arcade football game World Cup.
Steve Jobs was 19 years old at the time. The pages include circuit drawings and diagrams showing how the paddle-based game could be made more fun to play.
The notes are stamped with Steve Jobs’ Los Altos home address and a Buddhist mantra – “gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl”.
It translates as: “Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha.”
Sotheby’s said there had been “at least three bidders” for the item.
The high sums are the latest confirmation of demand for memorabilia connected to Steve Jobs, who died last October.
Apple’s founding papers, featuring Steve Jobs’ signature, sold at auction in December for close to $1.6 million.
Beau Sancy, one of the world’s oldest and most famous diamonds, has sold for $9.7 million at auction in Geneva – twice its reserve.
The 35-carat gem was worn by Marie de Medici at her coronation as queen of France in 1610.
It has since passed among the royal families of Europe, used to show off their wealth – and pay their debts.
Beau Sancy, one of the world's oldest and most famous diamonds, has sold for $9.7 million at auction in Geneva
The pear-shaped, rose-cut stone attracted fierce bidding and was won by an anonymous buyer.
“It’s extremely rare for a diamond of this importance to come on the market,” said David Bennett of auction house Sotheby’s.
“It’s never been out of royal hands, it’s of immaculate provenance, it’s in all the history books of famous stones.”
After being worn at Marie de Medici’s coronation, the diamond was pawned by Mary Stuart to finance the fight by her brother, the future Charles II, for the English throne, following the English Civil War.
Later still it was the centrepiece in the crown of the first king of Prussia, and it was sold by the Royal House of Prussia, the descendants of those who once ruled Prussia.
But, as its buyer was anonymous, no one knows whether it is royalty or commoner who owns the Beau Sancy now.