Signature Cellars, Christie’s first online-exclusive sale of Fine & Rare Wines totaled $819,715 (£524,618/€663,969) selling 88% by lot. The top lot of the sale was a dozen bottles of 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild, which sold for $42,350 to an Asian private collector.
The two-week timed auction, in which all browsing and bidding for lots was done completely online, was the first in a planned series of online-only auctions that will run in parallel to Christie’s calendar of live saleroom-based auctions. After completing two successful online-only sale pilots with The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor and a spring charity auction of couture handbags by Hermès, Christie’s announced in June that it would launch Signature Cellars as the next step in the firm’s market-leading global e-commerce strategy.
“We are delighted with the wine-buying community’s response to this new auction model. More than 25 percent of registrants in this sale were completely new to Christie’s, which indicates that wine collectors around the world appreciate both the accessibility of the online-only sales model and the assurance of Christie's near 250-year history as an auction leader,” said Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer. “E-commerce is a key part of our growth strategy as a company, and we look forward to expanding this exciting new model even further this fall, as we add more collecting categories to our online-only auction calendar.”