Auction house Christie’s has announced that its new series of online only sales, will begin with a fine wine auction.
The first sale in the series will be a fine and rare wines auction called “Signature Cellars”. Bidding will begin on 6 August and run through to 20 August.
A total of 301 lots will be available, including a case of Cheval Blanc 2000 (US$7,000-US$10,000) and Lafite 1982 (US$35,000-US$45,000), as well as lots of Latour, Harlan Estate, Champagne and Port.
“As a collecting category, wine lends itself very well to a global, online-only auction platform,” noted senior wine specialist Scott Torrenc.
“Online bidding has been a major component of our live saleroom-based wine auctions for more than five years now, with consistent participation from clients at the highest price levels.
“As a way of doing business, online-only sales are a very natural progression that provides our clients with even more opportunities to build and broaden their collections of fine and rare wines.”
Those looking to register for the sale will be able to view the catalogue online from 9 July. Once the sale goes live in August, collectors who bid will be given updates on the progress of their desired lot throughout the two week bidding period, the highest bid at the end wins the lot.
Payment is possible with either debit or credit card and the auction is open to clients anywhere in the world.
The launch of this service follows the success of two pilot sales last autumn and in spring of this year.
In particular, the collection of Elizabeth Taylor’s jewellery placed online far exceeded its US$1 million estimate, making US$9.5m in total.
“The success of these two pilots demonstrates our clients around the world are eagerly embracing online-only sales as a regular addition to Christie’s calendar of traditional live auctions,” said Steven Murphy, CEO of Christie’s International.
“Over the past year, we have made a significant commitment to building our e-commerce platform so that we may now support online-only sales on a broader level.
“With this new initiative, collectors will be able to experience the full theatre of the online auction experience year-round through Christies.com.”