It’s hard to say Christie’s is saving the best for last, because every Christie’s auction often features the best of something. Yet, as Christie’s Luxury Week event draws to a close, the sales slated to round out the event are impressive.
Christie’s Important 20th Century Decorative Art & Design including Magnificant Tiffany and its Important Watches are both set for Friday, Dec. 14; followed by the Fine & Rare Wines auction on Saturday, Dec. 15. This event will conclude Christie’s 2012 auction schedule.
With more than 140 lots, the decorative art and design sale is expected to generate in excess of $6 million, with works from the Art Deco, Modernist and Contemporary movements on the block. The sale includes several remarkable collections; among them is An Important Private Collection of Masterpieces by Alberto Giacometti for Jean-Michel Frank. Highlighting this selection is A Unique and Important Console and Bas-Relief, 1939 ($800,000 – 1,200,000).
In addition to the Art Deco auction, Christie’s is also hosting the sale of the Gordon Bethune Collection of vintage wristwatches, as part of its Important Watches auction. This beautiful array of top-quality timepieces from renowned manufacturers such as Patek Philippe, Rolex, Vacheron Constantin, and Cartier was assembled with care and great connoisseurship over a number of years by Mr. Bethune, a noted watch collector and former chief executive officer of Continental Airlines. This exceptional collection, estimated at $3 million, will form the centerpiece of the day-long auction which features 348 total lots, expected to surpass $7 million in total sales.
Among the many exceptional watches in the Bethune collection is a Patek Philippe Reference 1518, a rare 18K pink gold perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch with moon phases manufactured in 1945 (pictured; estimate $600,000 – $900,000). This land-mark model was the first perpetual calendar chronograph wristwatch produced in aseries by any watch manufacturer, and only 281 examples were made between 1941 and 1954.
Christie’s Luxury Week will draw to a close Saturday, Dec. 15 with the Fine & Rare Wines auction, featuring nearly 500 lots of various wines. Highlights of this auction include: two pristine assortment cases of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti from the coveted 1990 vintage, bought on release (estimate: $35,000-50,000 each), a six-magnum case of 1994 Château Haut-Brion Blanc in the original wooden case (estimate: $3,500-5,500), and the full complement of E. Guigal’s “La Las”, aged and ready for drinking now (estimates range: $1,500-4,000).