Record and Outstanding Auction Prices

Diamonds, Watches, Enigma, Beatles Art Beatles Memorabilia Art Fetches $87,720 On Band’s 50th Anniversary

Chart-topping bands the Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, and Beatles are all marking 50th anniversaries in 2012, but it was the Beatles that stole the show at the Sotheby’s action this week.

Beatles Sgt. Pepper

Five decades after the Beatles released their first record, 'Sgt. Pepper’ original artwork fetched almost $*88,000* at auction. The estimated hammer price for the original Peter Blake collage in the 'Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band' 1967 LP was 50,000 to 80,000 pounds. The collage sold for 55,250 pounds at Sotheby’s auction of Modern British art.

Blake is an English pop artist and Royal Academician, and, in 2002, he received a knighthood for his art services. Working closely with both Paul McCartney and John Lennon of the Beatles, Blake is best known for designing Sgt. Pepper’s record sleeve and insert, which featured a clip-on mustache and cut-out stripes. 'Love Me Do,’ the debut single by the Beatles, reached 17 on the U.K. charts in 1962.

An unidentified bidder at the Sotheby’s auction bought the collage, which was previously owned by architect and British Library designer, the late Colin St. John Wilson.


Colorless Diamond Sets Record Auction Price

The archduke Joseph Diamond, named after the royal House of Habsburg’s Archduke Joseph August, is a stunning colorless 76.02-carat diamond that was estimated to bring $15 million to $25 million at auction. It sold for 20.4 million Swiss francs, or $*21.5 million U.S. dollars*, in Geneva, Switzerland at the Christie’s International auction on November 13, 2012. Christie’s couldn’t identify the buyer at this time.

Colorless Diamond

The diamond orginated from south-central India’s Golconda mines, which also sourced famed diamonds such as the massive Darya-e Nur 185-carat diamond of the Iran crown jewels, the Koh-i- Noor 105.6-carat diamond that belongs to the United Kingdom crown jewels, the Hope Diamond, the Regent Diamond, and the Wittelsbach Diamond. To date, the archduke Joseph Diamond is the largest of the Golconda perfect diamonds to go to an auction.

The internally flawless stone was not only the most highly valued jewelry lot up for auction, it also managed to set a record auction price per carat for colorless stones. The Beau Sancy diamond previously held the colorless stone price per carat record at $276,600. The archduke Joseph Diamond sold has now stolen this title at $282,545 per carat.

In a pre-sale interview, Wartski of London managing director Geoffrey Munn compared today’s money to sand running through the fingers. He further pointed out the extraordinary value in the best diamonds and reasoned that there is a scramble to use jewels as a hedge in today’s economic environment.

The Austrian August family owned the archduke Joseph Diamond until the 1930s. It sold for 9.7 million Swiss francs in its first auction in 1993.

sourceDiamond Jewellery Studios


Colored Gems Set A High Bar For Auction Prices

Purity may be synonymous with Golconda’s colorless stones, but the rarer and more demanded colored diamonds are hailed as queen when it comes to auction prices.

Colored Gems

Famed London jeweler Laurence Graff purchased an intense pink 24.78-carat fancy diamond back in 2010 for a record 45.4 million Swiss francs at a Geneva Sotheby’s sale.


A Record-Breaking Christie’s Watch Auction In Geneva

Christie’s collected 3.4 million Swiss francs, or $3.6 million U.S. dollars, on Monday for a Patek Philippe watch formerly owned by three-time Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Eric Clapton.

Christie's Watch

While Clapton’s platinum Patek Philippe was deemed the “coolest” watch for sale at the Geneva auction by pre-auction observers, the top seller turned out to be the platinum 'Observatory Chronometer’ made in 1952 by Patek Philippe for J.B. Champion. It brought a cool 3.8 million Swiss franc price tag. The Christie’s watch auction had a 96% successful lot record and made 27 million Swiss francs in total.


Nazi Enigma Machine Cracks Auction Value

Valued at between 40,000 pounds to 60,000 pounds, a German World War II Enigma coding machine was bought by a U.S.-based online bidder for 85,250 pounds.

The enigma, which was offered by Bonhams, uses three rotors dated 1938-1944. According to the machine’s catalog, it was made for commercial purposes.

Nazi Enigma Machine

Nazis used these typewriter-like machines during World War II to encrypt and decode their messages. Alan Turning, a pioneer of modern computing and the mathematician that was the mastermind behind the Bletchley Park team that broke the Enigma machine’s code, was born a century ago this year.

In 2011, a similar enigma model sold for 131,180 pounds at auction.

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