Christie's charges a Buyer's premium calculated at 23.205% of the hammer price for each lot with a value up to €110,000. If the hammer price of a lot exceeds €110,000 then the premium for the lot is calculated at 23.205% of the first €110,000 plus 11.9% of any amount in excess of €110,000. Buyer's Premium is calculated on this basis for each lot individually.
The horizon as solace
There are some things that exist that we cannot see. Atoms, for example, or radio waves. The opposite is also true: there are things that we can see that do not actually exist.
The best example is the horizon. Everyone remembers the first time they saw the horizon, probably as a child on the beach. That line in the distance, separating sky and water. The end of the world. A place you can point to, but never reach. Just like the end of the rainbow, or the faraway point where railway lines seem to touch before disappearing.
The horizon is quite possibly the most hopeful, successful part of creation. It is the everlasting promise. Everlasting, because the promise is never redeemed, and therefore never loses its mythical status. The horizon is one travel destination that never disappears. It reassures us that we may continue searching, striving and longing.
And that's what we want. After all, we are explorers at heart. Travelling to the furthest corners of the world, mapping out what we find, and, yes, dominating, this is in our blood. Man started out a nomad, forever in transit, searching for a place where the grass is greener. According to the writer and traveller Bruce Chatwin, who passed away in 1989, things should have stayed that way. In Chatwin's opinion, the greatest tragedy ever to strike humankind was its decision to abandon a nomadic existence and put down roots somewhere.
Chatwin may or may not be right, but the fact remains that this longing for 'somewhere else' and the need to travel, has never disappeared along the evolutionary path, not even after the nomads chose a permanent place to settle. Travel not only satisfies human curiosity, it has also been historically regarded as therapeutic and enlightening. Confucius himself believed that one could learn more from travelling a single mile than by reading a thousand books. Later, during the 18th century, a tradition arose in Western Europe whereby young aristocratic adults would conclude their studies by embarking on a two or three-year 'Grand Tour' of Europe's cultural capitals.
Even after several centuries of intensive exploration, which seemingly left no stone unturned, and after the discovery of the last primitive tribe of New Guinea and the source of the most obscure river, the craving for new discoveries remains undiminished.
The significant flexibility enjoyed by people today requires a redefinition of the concept 'new discoveries'. Today's travellers no longer search for never before seen places or tribes; instead, they are searching for new insights. Ample proof of this can be found in travel literature, a genre that has grown immensely in popularity over the last quarter of the 20th century. These contemporary travel tales no longer centre on the quest to find unknown parts of the world. The traveller's personality has become the new theme. How did the journey affect him or her? How did their travels enrich them, what insights did they gain?
Despite social and political complications, people in the 21st century will also find it impossible to deny their primitive urge to explore. In fact, one of the major challenges of modern times is how to resolve these complications.
The horizon, however, is timeless: the unattainable desire as a source of solace.
[Hans Bouman is Deputy Editor of Reizen Magazine, and reviews travel books and English language literature for the national daily newspaper de Volkskrant. He has published two travel books: Een dag van 48 uur ('The 48-hour Day') and Verboden bestemming ('Forbidden Destinations'), and is currently working on a travel book about Great Britain.]
Curaçao and Surinam
(Lots 501 - 504)