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Owning artwork, handmade ceramics or even a bottle of perfectly aged whisky is the ultimate goal for collectors, they represent not just the triumph of human craftsmanship but also a part of history. Here are the lots that were recently sold at prestigious auction houses around the world.
1. Hibiki 21 Year Old Ceramic Collection
Auctioned by Bonhams in Hong Kong for HK$735,000 (RM386,832.22).
Crafted from the most luxurious porcelain, these 28 handmade ceramic bottles from the Arita and Kutani kiln contain the sought-after Hibiki 21 Year Old whisky. Ranging from the first release in 2001 to the latest in 2014, each blended malt whisky comes in its original carton and has an alcohol strength of 43 percent. Said to be full of grace with a calm essence that unfolds tenderly, this collection of rare ceramic decanter bottlings are the ultimate addition to any whisky collection. Only a limited number are released by Suntory every year as a tribute to the art of traditional Japanese ceramics.
2. Untitled (1958) by Zao Wou-Ki
Auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for HK$115,966,000 (RM61,033,176.68).
A seminal 1958 work, Untitled, by Chinese-French artist Zao Wou-Ki is expected to attract plenty of attention at Sotheby’s Modern Art Evening Sale in Hong Kong. Making its auction debut more than six decades after its creation, the work comes directly from the collection of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Viewed as a rare gem from Zao’s ‘Oracle Bone’ period, Untitled resembles thousand year-old bronzeware that withstands the test of time. The proceeds from the sale of the oil on canvas piece will benefit the museum’s art fund.
3. The Yamazaki Single Malt Whisky Aged 50 Years NV
Auctioned by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong for HK$2 million (RM1,052,604.67).
One of the heavyweight lots at Sotheby’s first wine sale of 2019 in Hong Kong, this Yamazaki single malt whisky is one of only 50 bottles, having been bottled in 2007. Sold in its original presentation case, the Japanese whisky has an alcohol strength of 53 percent, and remains a rare and much-coveted collectors’ whisky. “The results illustrate the expanding taste of Asian wine lovers for a diverse offering of the very best wines and spirits," commented Adam Bilbey, Head of Sotheby’s Wine, Asia.
4. Girl in a Red Dress with a Dog by Ammi Phillips
Auctioned by Christie’s in New York for US$1.7 million (RM7,018,450).
The sale of one of Ammi Phillips’ ‘four children in red’ – considered the most iconic group of American folk portraiture – set a new world auction record for the artist at Christie’s Important American Furniture, Folk Art, Silver and Prints auction. Painted around 1830-1835, this oil on canvas work is regarded as a quintessentially American work of art that illustrates the growing prosperity of a new country. Of the girls in Phillips’ portraiture group, this particular artwork was the only one remaining in private hands, offering a rare chance to acquire an undisputed masterpiece of American folk art.
5. The Amelia Island Auction
A count of 24 antique automobiles, two antique motorcycles and automobilia from the Don C. Boulton Collection are to be sold at this year’s Amelia Island Auction, which will feature some very rare and highly coveted models, beginning from 1899 up to 1914. Renowned for his passion and infectious enthusiasm for pre-Great War motorcars, the late Don Boulton of Oklahoma City was a lifelong member (and former National President) of the Horseless Carriage Club of America. Of his Pioneer, Veteran and Brass Era automobiles, the hottest lots are rumoured to be the 1908 Welch Model 4 Seven-Seat Tourer and a 1914 Simplex Speedcar (estimates unavailable).