Photo Courtesy of Christie'sSignature Cellars, Christie’s first online-exclusive sale of fine and rare wines totaled $819,715. The auction house reported that 88 percent of the lots sold and that the most expensive item was a dozen bottles of 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild that sold for $42,350 to a private collector.
All activity surrounding this two-week auction was done completely online. It was the first in a series of upcoming online-only auctions that will run parallel to live auctions in sales rooms.
Signature Cellars is the next step for online-only sales events. The format has been tested twice this year with online-only sale pilots with The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor and a spring charity auction of handbags by Herm?s.
“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 CEO Steven P. Murphy, in a prepared statement for the media.
Murphy went on to say that e-commerce is key part to Christie’s growth strategy and that he looks forward to expanding it with more categories. More than 440 registrants worldwide signed up to bid in the online-only sale. Like many of the auction house’s auctions, It was a frenzied group bidding ferociously at the end.
“The final hours of the sale were very exciting, as bidders around the world logged on to defend their chosen lots. As a result, we saw strong prices throughout the sale, especially for difficult-to-source cult favorites like Domaine Tempier, Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate,” said Per Holmberg, head of wine at Christie’s New York.
The next installment of Christie’s Signature Cellars online-exclusive wine sales series will open for bidding on October 16, 2012. For more information, visit Christies.com.