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Headlines and Highlights: Week of November 17th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of November 17th
November 17, 2023
Keenan Flack

Sotheby’s and NBA Strike Auction Partnership


Sotheby's has entered a multiyear partnership with the NBA to auction game-worn jerseys and memorabilia. The collaboration has already launched with over 60 game-worn jerseys on offer, including those worn by notable players like Victor Wembanyama and Scoot Henderson in their debut regular season games, along with jerseys from other stars from both this and past seasons. Highlights from the auction will be displayed at Sotheby's New York Headquarters from November 14-21, with bidding continuing through November 21.

The partnership plans nine auctions, focusing on specific NBA games and events rather than team-based auctions. MeiGray will continue to authenticate the league’s game-used items. As of early Friday morning, the bidding for Wembanyama's jersey had reached $100,000. Brahm Wachter, Head of Modern Collectibles at Sotheby’s, expressed enthusiasm about the partnership, highlighting the global appeal of NBA memorabilia and Sotheby's commitment to offering unique objects with exceptional provenance.

Throughout the 2023-24 NBA season, Sotheby’s will host various auctions, primarily online, featuring exclusive NBA game-worn jerseys, apparel, and memorabilia. These auctions will include items from major NBA events like Christmas Day games, All-Star Weekend, the NBA Finals, and more. Additionally, Sotheby's plans to conduct live auction events after the NBA All-Star Game and Finals, with auction bidders also invited to special events organized by the auction house. NBA 

1962 Ferrari GTO sells for $52 Million at Auction


A 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO has become the second most expensive car ever auctioned, selling for $52 million at RM Sotheby's. This sale price, though significant, fell short of its $60 million asking price, reflecting a slight downturn in the market for collectible cars. The car, previously bought privately by collector Jim Jaeger in 1985 for around $500,000, was sold to an anonymous bidder. The Ferrari, one of only 34 produced and one of two raced by Ferrari’s own team, was featured in Sotheby’s high-profile New York fall auctions, using the collection of high-profile bidders to strike up some interest in the car.

The car's inclusion in the auction, alongside other unique items like a Jean Royère sofa at Christie's contemporary art sale, reflects a shift in auction houses' strategies to attract collectors. These additions create an anything-goes atmosphere in auctions traditionally focused on high-end art. However, the effectiveness of this approach is questionable, as the Ferrari sold for less than its anticipated price. The GTO model, particularly this one with a championship track record including a class win at the 1962 Nürburgring 1000 KM, commands a premium among car collectors.

The 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO's rarity is underscored by its infrequent appearance in the market, with the last sale of a 250 GTO by RM Sotheby’s in 2018 fetching $48.4 million. This particular GTO, initially sold in 1964 for about $6,000, exemplifies the significant appreciation in value of these rare collectible cars over time.

Collectible Happenings

Certified Collectibles Group (CCG) is set to open an office in Dubai in 2024 to provide easier access for collectors and dealers in the UAE and surrounding region to their leading authentication, grading, and encapsulation services for coins, banknotes, and pop culture collectibles. This expansion aims to better serve the fast-growing Middle Eastern collectibles market, with CCG offering full insurance coverage for items submitted to their Dubai office for certification and return. CCG

An online auction titled “The Fashion of Prince” by RR Auction showcases the evolving style of American musician Prince, featuring items from his iconic Purple Rain era to his 1990s phase, including lace-laden attire and his famous ruffled shirt from the American Music Awards. The auction, which also includes master tapes, backstage passes, and other ephemera, captures Prince's unique fashion sense, with the items sourced from collectors and those close to him, such as his ex-wife Mayte Garcia. ARTNET

Ron and Mary Knappen, a Wisconsin couple who once ran a profitable business selling vintage telephones, are now struggling to find buyers for their massive collection of tens of thousands of phones. Despite their once thriving business that generated nearly $1 million a year, changing tastes and technology have diminished interest in their inventory, leaving them with a vast collection stored across multiple properties, including barns, sheds, and a multi-room museum. MADISON.COM

Mark Rothko's "Untitled (Yellow, Orange, Yellow, Light Orange)" from 1955, a key highlight of Christie's New York auction, sold for $46.4 million, slightly over its $45 million estimate, underscoring the enduring passion for Abstract Expressionism. This sale, alongside record-breaking works by other abstract artists like Joan Mitchell and Richard Diebenkorn, demonstrates the continued strong market demand for Abstract Expressionist art, with Rothko's work exemplifying the genre's deep emotional impact and visual power. ARTNET

Robert Edward Auctions is set to offer one of only ten known copies of Babe Ruth’s first trading card, the 1914 Baltimore News Babe Ruth, in its upcoming Fall Catalog Auction. This rare card, graded SGC 3 (VG), is the highest-graded example on the SGC Population Report with bidding currently sitting at $5,250,000. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

Kobe Bryant's last road game uniform and shoes, worn during an April 11, 2016 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, are set to be auctioned by SCP Auctions with an estimate exceeding $500,000. This memorabilia, photo-matched by Resolution Photomatching and Sports Investors Authentication, has a current bid of $50,000 with 15 days left in the sale. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDAILY

Goldin privately sold a PSA type I photo of Michael Jordan for $225,000. They claim it is the highest sale for any Jordan type I photo. GOLDIN

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