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I’ve been involved with the sales of many items over my time at Christie’s, some really beautiful works of art, some very odd and unusual items, and indeed some iconic pieces. However in all my 30 years of service being involved with the sale of Spitfire P9374 in the Exceptional Sale this summer caps them all.
The project took over my life for the first six months of this year. It wasn’t always easy and we overcame some difficult obstacles to bring it to the marketplace. But it was worth every ounce of effort, and at the end to achieve a world record price of £3,106,500 was hugely rewarding.
I think part of the reason I gained so much out of the experience was the way the project inspired the colleagues I worked with. It brought the best out of everybody, from the marketing team who helped us produce Christie’s first ever video catalogue. through to the security team who oversaw the public display of the aircraft at the Churchill War Rooms, with every member of the team excelling in their respective roles.
For me it will be a hard act to follow, but with Spitfire P9374 we proved that anything is possible at Christie’s if you really want to make it happen.
Main image at top: A Vickers Supermarine Spitfire Mk. 1A-P9374. Originally built early 1940 at the Vickers Armstrong factory in Woolston, first flight 23 February 1940; delivered to 92 Squadron on 6 March 1940, major rebuild and restoration subsequent to rediscovery and recovery in 1980/81. Estimate: £1,500,000-2,500,000. Sold for £3,106,500 on 9 July at Christie's London.
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