Wally’s partners with Christie’s in NYC

Auction house Christie’s and fine wine retailer Wally’s have declared a new partnership in New York.

Wally’s will act as Christie’s agency partner for the auctioneer’s New York wine sales in future, beginning with a sale on 22 June.

Fine wine auctions are only allowed in New York state if the auctioneer or a partner holds a state wine retail licence. For the last five years Christie’s has been working with Columbus Circle Wines but has now switched to Wally’s as has been reported in the Wine Spectator.

It is the first time Wally’s has been mentioned in fine wine circles for some time now.

The Los Angeles-based merchant had a much-publicised entry into the world of auctioneering in 2013 and seemed to be doing well for a while but in late 2015 and early 2016 the sales appeared to dry up.

In February 2016 rumours abounded that most of the staff had been laid off and the whole operation seemed to have come to a juddering halt and might even have failed entirely and then been wrapped up in secret.

In spring last year the drinks business asked what had happened to the business and despite repeated questions got nothing more concrete than word that Wally’s owners, Christian Navarro and bothers Paul and Maurice Marciano, were concluding a deal in New York. A little later the company announced it had put its auction business on hold and was looking for partners.

With this latest news it is clear now what and with who that deal involved. It seems that Wally’s own auction business is at least temporarily and maybe permanently shelved.

This idea is bolstered by Navarro’s comments to Wine Spectator that: “We can offer them clients.

“We can provide them with something they were looking for – fresh energy. They can provide us with global reach.”

Christie’s has been contacted for comment.

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