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Headlines and Highlights: Week of October 27th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of October 27th
October 27, 2023
Keenan Flack

EDHREC Acquires Cardsphere


MtG trading website, Cardsphere, has been acquired by Space Cow Media. The transaction will take place on November 1st, 2023, when it will join other TCG products under Space Cow’s brand like EDHREC and Archidekt.

Users should not expect significant changes to the Cardsphere service, but the transition will likely cause hiccups in certain aspects of the service. Two of the three founding members are staying on during the transition to try to smooth everything out for users.

Space Cow acquired Cardsphere for their active community of MtG traders as well as the unique trade-flow of cards. Cardsphere operates similarly to VeriSwap, a trusted trading hub for sports card collectors. CARDSPHERE

Christie’s Rainmaker Jussi Pylkkänen to Depart After 38 Years


Global president of Christie’s, Jussi Pylkkänen, will be stepping down after a 38 year career with the house. He plans to step down at the end of the year and become an independent art advisor.

Pylkkänen has presided over some of the most talked about sales of the last 30 years. ‘Salvator Mundi’ and ‘Shot Sage Blue Marilyn’ both were hammered down by Pylkkänen, the former for $450.3M (record price for a painting) and the latter for $195M (record auction price for a contemporary work). Last year he was the auctioneer for the Paul Allen sale; the largest single owner sale in history, totaling $1.5B in sales.

The auctioneer has played a significant role in the growth of the house since joining in the mid-1980s. He lead the impressionist and Modern department starting in 1995, he then ran operations in Europe, the Middle East, and Russia, before becoming Global President in 2014.

Pylkkänen reflected on his career at the house by saying: 

“Christie’s is an inspiring place to work and has brought me great happiness across four decades working with the very best specialists in the market, at the very heart of the art world.  I have been privileged to have the opportunity to befriend collectors all over the globe and auctioneer works of art of superb quality in every category in London, New York, Paris and Hong Kong.  The art market continues to evolve and the extraordinary influx of buyers at the top of the market now offers me a unique opportunity to share my experience with a new generation of collectors who are keen to buy major works of art both privately and at auction.” ARTNEWS

Collectible Happenings

The vast art collection of the late Silvio Berlusconi, former Italian prime minister, has been criticized by leading art critic Vittorio Sgarbi as being primarily of low quality and little value. Despite its size, only a handful of the artworks hold significant artistic value, and managing the collection is becoming a costly and challenging task for Berlusconi's heirs. BBC

Saudi artist Mohammed Al-Saleem set a new world record for Saudi artists by selling his 1986 artwork for $1.1 million at Sotheby’s 20th Century Art/Middle East sale in London, surpassing its pre-sale estimate by seven times. The artwork, inspired by Riyadh's skyline, previously held a record of $91,000 at Sotheby’s in 2019, and is part of a collection showcasing prominent Saudi modernists. ARABNEWS

The iconic 1993 New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner, featuring two dogs with the caption "On the internet, nobody knows you’re a dog," has become the most reprinted cartoon in the magazine's history and recently sold for a record-breaking $175,000 at auction. Steiner, surprised by the cartoon's success, shared that the cartoon is more of a reflection of his feelings of being an imposter rather than solely about the internet. SMITHSONIANMAG

Christie's New York will proceed with the auction of Paul Cézanne's "Fruits et pot de gingembre" after brokering a restitution agreement between Switzerland's Langmatt Foundation and the heirs of the painting's pre-World War II Jewish owner, Jacob Goldschmidt. The work is expected to bring in between $35 and $55 million. ARTNET

Paul McCartney's fully restored double-decker bus, used during his iconic 1972 Wings tour of Europe, is set to be auctioned by Julien’s Auctions with an estimated value of $200,000-$300,000. This 1953 Bristol KSW, known as WNO 481, not only served as McCartney's tour bus but was also artistically painted in a psychedelic style reminiscent of the Beatles' Yellow Submarine and was designed to be family-friendly, accommodating band members' children with features like bunk beds and a play area. ARTNET


Rally has sold out of a set of 200 Mickey Mantle Relic cards. Except, it isn’t his jersey or a bat inside of the card, it is a piece of his childhood home. More specifically, a piece of corrugated steel that had come loose on the side of the barn. Rally claims that there will not be any issuance of barn relics in the future. RALLY

Auction house Christie's collaborated with the Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) in an event titled "Know Who We Are" during Frieze London arts week, showcasing and auctioning contemporary African art to support MOWAA's upcoming exhibitions. The increasing popularity and recognition of African art on the global stage is evident with significant sales, including a piece by Tunji Adeniyi-Jones selling for £75,600, and the art genre has seen a transformational rise in its influence and value in galleries, auctions, and collectors' choices worldwide. AFRICANBUSINESS

Heritage Auctions is selling Kareem Abdul-Jabbar’s game-worn Bucks jersey from the 1970-71 regular season and playoffs, including the championship securing game four of the 1971 NBA finals. HERITAGE

Heritage is set to auction a highly sought-after 1977 Topps Star Wars Series Luke Skywalker sticker, the only one graded as PSA Gem Mint 10 with an MBA Gold Diamond certification, expected to fetch over $100,000. The Nov. 9 event will feature 182 other PSA Gem Mint 10 cards from the iconic 1977 Topps Star Wars series, including notable cards of Darth Vader and Han Solo, reflecting the enduring popularity of this franchise in the collectible world. HERITAGE

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