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Headlines and Highlights: Week of February 23rd

Headlines and Highlights: Week of February 23rd
February 23, 2024
Keenan Flack

Elton John’s ‘Opening Night’ Christie’s Sale Grosses $8 Million


Elton John's collection from his Atlanta home sparked a bidding frenzy at Christie’s, grossing $8 million in sales. Highlights included a collector’s edition pinball machine, a 1990 Bentley Continental, platform boots, and cocktail shakers, with many items exceeding their estimated values. The auction drew 40% new bidders to Christie’s, although a Damien Hirst collage intended for John was withdrawn from the sale.

The standout sale was a Banksy painting, "Flower Thrower Triptych, 2017", which fetched $1.925 million, leading the first of two live and six online auctions totaling nearly 900 items. Early bids set the tone with prescription sunglasses and Elizabeth II silver cocktail shakers selling well above estimates, alongside glittery watches and jewelry from Rolex and Cartier attracting significant interest and high bids.

The auction featured a diverse range of art, photography from notable artists, and John’s Yamaha conservatory grand piano ($201,600 after fees), culminating in the sale of his Bentley ($441,000 after fees) and pinball machine ($69,300 after fees). More of Elton John’s memorabilia, including costumes, watches, fine arts, and jewelry, is set to be auctioned, with a particular focus on his friendship with Versace and a collection titled “Honky Château” showcasing his unique aesthetic. BARRONS 

Panini and LIV Golf Sign Multi-Year Trading Card Deal


Panini has inked an exclusive multi-year trading card deal with LIV Golf, marking its debut into the golf card market. This partnership allows Panini to create and distribute trading cards featuring LIV Golf players, including match-worn memorabilia and autographs. Panini plans to incorporate these elements into its Prizm and Impeccable brands and will also introduce a real-time card program, Panini Instant, to capture key moments from tournaments and create LIV Golf Team sets.

The LIV Golf series, backed by Saudi Arabian interests since its 2022 inception, features 54 players and introduces a team element to its tournaments, with a majority of its 14 tour stops located outside the U.S. Panini has already started selling the 2024 LIV team sets on its website, emphasizing the unique team and league format introduced by LIV Golf that offers a new level of collectability and appeal for fans and collectors alike.

LIV Golf Commissioner and CEO Greg Norman expressed excitement about partnering with Panini to bring innovative products to passionate fans and collectors. Mark Warsop, CEO of Panini America, highlighted the alignment of LIV Golf’s innovative approach and Panini's brand, aiming to build a lasting fan base. This partnership is set to introduce golf's top talents, like Jon Rahm, Bryson DeChambeau, and Phil Mickelson, to the trading card market, offering a fresh collectible avenue for golf enthusiasts. SCDAILY

Collectible Happenings

A wristwatch frozen at the moment the United States dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 is expected to sell for up to $20,000, brought back into the limelight by the success of the film "Oppenheimer”. DAILYMAIL

Rally has put up two assets, a 1933 Goudey Babe Ruth (current price of $201k( and a 1999 Pokemon 1st edition PSA 10 full set (current price $250k), up to a vote as to whether it will be put up for auction. RALLY

Christie’s announces NFT sale from artist Robert Alice. 400 lots of NFT art will be sold, including the very first NFT Christie's sold in 2020. CHRISTIES

Excessively rare Bank of the United States check, 6.25 x 3, filled out in the hand of Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott Jr. and boldly signed by President George Washington, "Go: Washington," payable to "Oliv. Wolcott" for $2693.33, September 1795. Affixed by its top edge to a thin board and in fine condition, with a block of toning over the check area, and a tear to the lower blank margin, not affecting the check itself; Washington's signature is crisp and bold. Accompanied by a full letter of authenticity and grading from PSA/DNA, evaluating both autographs as MINT 10 examples.

A check signed by President George Washington was sold at RR Auction for $135,473 after fees. The check was made out to Washington in September of 1795, there are only two such signed checks known from his time as President. RRAUCTION

Adrian Peterson, a former NFL MVP and three-time rushing champion, is entangled in a legal battle over property seizures due to an unpaid $8.3 million loan judgment from 2021, despite earning over $100 million during his career. His personal items, including trophies from 2012 MVP and 2007 Rookie of the Year, were advertised for auction in Texas, which Peterson claims he did not authorize and intends to take legal action against. The court-appointed receiver has accused Peterson and his wife of attempting to illegally conceal assets, leading to a complex legal struggle over the collection of the debt, now exceeding $10 million with interest and fees. USATODAY Adrian Peterson Statement

Topps is extending its debut patch card program to Major League Soccer, where 2024 season rookies will have patches from their debut jerseys incorporated into unique 1/1 Topps MLS rookie cards. The program, which includes player autographs, ensures that newcomers debuting by April 1 will feature in the 2024 Topps MLS product, following the successful implementation of a similar initiative in Major League Baseball. SCDAILY

A painting by Brice Marden titled "Event," produced between 2004 and 2007, is expected to fetch between $30 million and $50 million at a Christie's auction in May, potentially setting a new auction record for the artist. The work, which has never been publicly exhibited since leaving Marden's studio in 2007, will be shown for the first time at Art Dubai before the sale, challenging Marden's current auction record of $30.9 million. ARTNEWS

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