Sotheby’s, one of the world’s most prestigious auctioneers since 1744, has been in the news a lot lately, for both its extraordinary sales and continual growth in the world of global art. Most recently, the firm took a daring leap in the auction industry, purchasing a boutique art advisory business known as Art Agency, Partners, for $85 million. The company will now operate within the auction house, and focus on 20th and 21st century fine art. The acquisition became official yesterday, according to The New York Times, and is hoped to increase profits, private sales and the client base for Sotheby’s.
On the jewelry front, Sotheby’s auction has seen lots of sparkling diamonds—$562 million worth, to be exact. Holding a total of 11 auctions, the company sold $300.5 million in jewelry at its two Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels auctions, which both took place in Geneva. A record was broken by the sale of “The Blue Moon of Josephine,” a magnificent, vivid blue stone recorded as the first diamond to sell for more than $4 million per carat. The piece was ultimately purchased for a total of $48.5 million, breaking the world record for any piece of jewelry ever sold at auction.
Are you a Star Wars fan? At a recent Sotheby’s auction featuring rare Star Wars toys and memorabilia, buyers spent a sum of $505,202 on approximately 600 toys and trinkets from the collection of Japanese entrepreneur and designer Tomoaki Nagao, or NIGO. Forbes recaps details from the event, highlighting items such as a plush Canadian Chewbacca selling for $5,000, and a set of four figurines reaching as high as $20,000. The force is most definitely strong among Star Wars fanatics in the Sotheby’s auction world!
For those more interested in collecting cars, RM Sotheby’s recently reported a year-end auction sale total of $593 million, gathered at 15 events, with 2,962 vehicles on two continents. Much of the year’s success can be attributed to Sotheby’s recent partnership with RM Auctions, which includes a 25 percent ownership stake in the company. The strongest auction results occurred in Arizona, Paris, Amelia Island, Hershey and New York, with the top automobile sale of the year going to a 1956 Ferrari, which sold for a whopping $28,050,000. Although sold for much less, Janis Joplin’s 1965 Porsche 356c 1600 Cabriolet fetched $2.45 million at a recent auction in New York—another highlight of the year, especially since she originally bought the car secondhand for $3,500 in 1968!
For more of the top Sotheby’s auction sales of 2015, click here.