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16 September 2010  |  New York, Rockefeller Center   |  PRINT
For Immediate Release

NEW HOUSE RECORD AT CHRISTIE'S INTERNATIONAL FOR THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEM SOLD ONLINE

 

AMERICAN COLLECTOR BUYS RARE SHANG DYNASTY WINE VESSEL FOR $3.3 MILLION USING CHRISTIE’S LIVE™

New York In a sign that fine art collectors are growing ever more comfortable with bidding online, Christie’s International reports that the top lot in Thursday’s sale of The Sze Yuan Tang Archaic Bronzes from the Anthony Hardy Collection sold for $3.3 million to an online bidder, setting a new house record for the most expensive item sold online.  The sale price smashed the previous Christie’s online sales of $1.27 million, set in April 2008 for a Stradavari violin purchased online using Christie’s LIVE™, the company’s proprietary online bidding platform.

The new record of $3.3 million was set by an American collector who competed against bidders in the saleroom and on the phone to win the rare Chinese bronze wine vessel Fangyi, from the late Shang dynasty.  Widely published and extensively exhibited in museums worldwide, this striking, heavily decorated container and cover (pictured page one) is believed to have been a prized ritual vessel at the time of its creation in 12th-11th century BC.  Inscriptions on both the vessel and cover record the clan names of the artisans who made the vessel as well as the ancestors to whom the vessel is dedicated. The complete catalogue listing for the vessel may be viewed here:

www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=5348179

In total, 22% of the lots sold in Thursday’s sale, which totaled over $20 million, were sold to or directly underbid by clients using the Christie's LIVE™ application. Since 2007, every category of fine art, antiques and collectibles sold in Christie's salerooms worldwide have been enabled for online bidding.  The most popular collecting categories for online bidding at Christie’s include Watches, Fine and Rare Wines, and Interiors. Prior to today’s sale, three lots have sold online for over the US$1 million mark, including jewelry and Chinese works of art.

Michael O’Neal, Senior Vice President and Director of Digital Media at Christie’s, commented: “Today’s new house record is a sign that Christie’s clients are as comfortable bidding online as they are with bidding in person in our salerooms, on the phone, or by absentee ballot.  We recognize that our clients are increasingly mobile and rely on the Internet and mobile devices to conduct business with us.  We are pleased that Christie’s LIVE™ has become such a core component of our auction business since its launch in 2007, and we look forward to rolling out more mobile applications and online enhancements to our clients later this fall.”

Christie’s remains the only international auction house to offer real-time, online bidding in all of its sale categories worldwide.  In 2009, $68.4 million (£43.5 million) was bid online including premium and Christie’s LIVE™ generated 49,343 accepted bids for the year.  30% of all bids and 14% of all winning bids came in through online channels and the number of winning bidders participating online increased by 40% over 2008.  In July 2009, Christie’s became the first international auction house to launch a mobile application with the announcement of its free app for the iPhone and iTouch. Earlier this summer, Christie’s expanded its mobile application compatibility to include all mobile phones, regardless of platform or device.

 

Related Lots


Related Departments Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art



About Christie’s
Christie’s, the world's leading art business, had global auction and private sales in the first half of 2013 that totaled £2.4 billion/ $3.68 billion. In 2012, Christie’s had global auction and private sales that totaled £3.92 billion/$6.27 billion making it the highest annual total in Christie’s history. Christie’s is a name and place that speaks of extraordinary art, unparalleled service and expertise, as well as international glamour. Founded in 1766 by James Christie, Christie's has since conducted the greatest and most celebrated auctions through the centuries providing a popular showcase for the unique and the beautiful. Christie’s offers over 450 auctions annually in over 80 categories, including all areas of fine and decorative arts, jewellery, photographs, collectibles, wine, and more. Prices range from $200 to over $100 million. Christie's also has a long and successful history conducting private sales for its clients in all categories, with emphasis on Post-War and Contemporary, Impressionist and Modern, Old Masters and Jewellery. Private sales totaled £465.2 million ($711.8 million) in the first half of 2013, an increase of 13% on the previous year, and for the third successive year represents the highest total for the period in both company and art market history.

Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 12 salerooms around the world including in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Mumbai. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.

*Estimates do not include buyer’s premium. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer’s premium and do not reflect costs, financing fees or application of buyer’s or seller’s credits.

Complete catalogue available online at www.christies.com or via Christie’s Mobile, iPhone, iPad and Android apps.
Contacts
AN IMPORTANT AND RARE BRONZE WINE VESSEL AND COVER, FANGYI LATE SHANG DYNASTY, ANYANG, 12TH-11TH CENTURY BC Estimate upon request Price realized: US$3,330,500
Lot 822, Sale 2508