Chinese Works Shine During Asia Week Art Sales

The strengths of the Chinese works of art market were much to the fore at the recent round of Asia Week art sales in New York. That meant mark and period porcelain, classical Chinese hardwood furniture and well-provenanced bronzes.

Christie’s seven catalogues offered across September 12-15 dominated the series. The firm’s running total was close to $43.5m (£32,225,000) (almost three times the aggregate of its competitors) with a healthy 80% sold.

christies ya-yi-fangding

The Late Shang period bronze fangding with characters for the Ya yi clan, sold for $2.8m (plus premium) at Christie’s New York sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on September 14-15.

A bronze fangding from the Late Shang period (13th-11th century BC) was the top selling Chinese lot, hammered much as expected for $2.8m (£2,074,000). The largest of these ancient ritual vessels were made exclusively for the kings and queens with this smaller 28cm size reserved for high-ranking officials. It is one of more than 200 extant ritual bronzes from Anyang in Henan province carrying the two-character inscription for the aristocratic Ya yi clan, who enjoyed a close relationship with the Shang royal family.

It is recorded in the Neiraku Museum, Nara, prior to 1961 and was acquired from the Gisèle Croës gallery in Brussels in 2003. It was offered for sale as the property of a private US collection.

Provenance is increasingly important in the sale of Chinese archaeological material. A history in the West before the UNESCO Convention of 1970 is key to commercial success.

Sotheby's Buffalo

A Western Zhou (1046-771BC) period bronze buffalo sold for $600,000 (plus premium) at Sotheby’s New York sale of Important Chinese art on September 13.

At Sotheby’s, a bronze buffalo from the Western Zhou (1046-771BC) period sold for $600,000. It too had a long collecting history: part of an exhibition of Ancient Chinese Bronzes held by Yamanaka & Co., London in 1925 and later owned by both Mary Cohen and JT Tai. A good indication of where prices have gone in recent years: previously it had sold at Sotheby’s New York in 2011 for $110,000.

Classical furniture from the Ming and early Qing periods has moved into the spotlight in recent years. Several single-owner collections, including that of Christopher Ellsworth, dealer and author of Chinese Furniture, Hardwood Examples of the Ming and Early Ch’ing Dynasties (1971), have proved a sell-out.

christies chairs

A pair of 18th century zitan quanyi (horseshoe-back armchairs) sold for $650,000 (plus premium) at Christie’s New York sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art on September 14-15.

Christie’s offered two good lots on September 14 as a part of the Asia Week art sales: a well-proportioned 17th century tapered cabinet or yuanjiaogui in the highly prized hardwood huanghuali $380,000 (£282,000) and a pair of 18th century zitan quanyi (horseshoe-back armchairs) from well-known collectors Nancy and Ed Rosenthal $650,000 (£482,000).

Representing the last flowering of imperial artistic and political power, early Qing porcelain appeals to bidders from Greater China on an aesthetic and emotional level. Sotheby’s offered a series of fresh lots with modest expectations that flew.

Sotheby's lotus vase

A Qianlong (1735-95) mark and period ‘lotus’ vase painted in deep underglaze blue with an unusual yellow and green enamel ground sold for $920,000 at Sotheby’s New York sale of Important Chinese art on September 13.

A top price of $920,000 (£682,000) (estimate $60,000-80,000) was bid for a 22cm Qianlong (1735-95) mark and period ‘lotus’ vase painted in blue with a typical display of auspicious flowers and ruyi heads on an unusual yellow and green enamel ground. Sold at $600,000 was a typical 30cm high ‘boys at play’ vase with a green ground from the Jaiqing (1795-1820) period.

The depiction of numerous boys at play in a garden, representing the wish for many sons, was a popular theme in the decorative arts of the Ming and Qing dynasties and here – just to add icing to the cake –  the boys are depicted holding a series of auspicious objects.

Chinese works of art dominated the Asia Week art sales. However, the two top lots of the series came in the Indian and South Asian category. Untitled from 1996 was ranked among Vasudeo Santu Gaitonde’s (1924-2001) best late works. Appearing at auction for the first time it sold towards top estimate at $3.4m (£2,518,705) – the second highest price for the artist at auction.

christies buddha

A 13th or 14th century Nepalese gilt bronze figure of Buddha from the Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection sold at $3.3m at Christie’s New York sale of Indian, Himalayan and Southeast Asian Works of Art on September 13.

Plenty of competition also emerged for a 13th or 14th century Nepalese gilt bronze figure of Buddha, consigned from the Baroness Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza collection. A sophisticated example by a master craftsman of the Newari and unusually large at 50cm high, it quadrupled hopes at $3.3m (£2,444,625).


This exhibition quality Satsuma vase by Yabu Meizan sold for $165,000 (plus premium) at Bonhams on September 14.

The Japanese art sale at Bonhams on September 14 was a patchy 50% sold but included a high price for Satsuma when a 37cm high vase by Yabu Meizan (1853-1934) doubled hopes at $165,000 (£122,000). Sold together with its original hardwood stand, it was probably exhibited at one of the international exhibitions attended by the Osaka workshop in the early 20th century.

The next stop for the Asian art juggernaut is Hong Kong where an 11th century celadon brush washer from the fabled Ru kiln in Henan is expected to surpass $10m at Sotheby’s on October 3.

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Top 5 Most Expensive Bugattis Ever Sold at Auction

A Brief History of Bugatti

It’s no surprise that Bugatti is one of the most expensive car brands on the planet, with their latest Veyron models coming in at a hefty $1.5 million. Bugatti has always built their brand around being the most prestigious, but most importantly the fastest cars on the market. The Veyron manages an impressive top speed of 252 mph, making it the fastest production car in the world by a distance.

Attention to detail, craftsmanship and elegance appears to be in the company’s DNA, but founder Ettore Bugatti always had a passion for speed and many of the old classics were used precisely for that; in high profile racing events.

Founded in 1909, Bugatti soon became a world renowned aspirational luxury car brand, however it wasn’t until the 1930’s that the golden years for the brand really set in. All five of the most expensive Bugattis to sell at auction came from this innovative era. Initially, Ettore Bugatti designed and approved his fleet of cars; however, his son Jean proved to be extremely talented in the automotive design field, and some of his eccentric designs (which his Father thought would be too outlandish and attempted to discourage) proved to become timeless classics, with a few of them featuring in the prestigious top five list.

5) 1931 Bugatti Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater

Most Expensive Bugattis

Image Source: Bonham’s

Coming in at number five on this big hitter list of most expensive Bugattis is the 1931 Type 51 Grand Prix Racing Two Seater. The car, although still in great condition, may appear slightly worn for the whooping price tag paid at auction. This is the unique part of the car that ultimately makes it a masterpiece that has stood the test of time, with some deeming the car as ‘immortal’.

Famously, Ettore Bugatti based the design of the type 51 upon the powerful racing design of the all-American car brand Miller. The Italian racing car was famously contested by Earl Howe, who entered the car in extremely high-profile events such as the Monaco Grand Prix. Although this was his cherished car to get his stellar racing career going, he never had much success in the Bugatti. The car sold at Bonhams’ Quail Lodge Auction in Carmel, California in August 2016 for an impressive $4,000,000 (£3,088,800).

4) 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante Coupe

Most Expensive Bugattis

Image Source: Gooding & Co.

A car that Gooding & Co. describes as ‘one of the most radically beautiful automobiles ever constructed’ seems fitting when you look at the sleek design and elegance; then bear in mind that this car was designed and manufactured 80 years ago, and you really start to appreciate its beauty. The model is arguably the most original type 57SC on the planet, and notably, Ettore Bugatti’s son Jean came up with the design that featured many new innovations such as the split front axle instead of the original solid front axle, which Ettore thought was too outlandish and attempted to get his son to abandon the idea. The car went on to be a timeless masterpiece and the price reflects this, selling at Gooding & Co.’s Pebble Beach auction in 2008 for $7,920,000 (£6,115,824).

3) 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Atalante

Most Expensive Bugattis

Image Source: Gooding & Co.

This car is almost reminiscent of the Batmobile, with its sleek low design, and jet black paintwork, it is easy to see why this would be a classic collectors dream car. The car, again was designed by Bugatti founder Ettore’s son Jean. It comes in extremely authentic condition, and given that this is one of only 17 Atlante’s ever made and the fact that it retains its original chassis, engine and coachwork; this makes this car even more rare and desirable. The Atlante is a highly-decorated car, awarded first in class and the French Cup at Pebble Beach, with its illustrious life documented by famous Bugatti historian Julius Kruta. The Bugatti sold at Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach Auction 2013 for $8,745,000 (£6,752,889).

2) 1937 Bugatti Type 57SC Sports Tourer

Most Expensive Bugattis

Image Source: Bonham’s

The Sports Tourer needs no introduction, being one of the most iconic Bugattis, with the shape and design at the forefront, particularly to a car collector of what makes a great classic Bugatti. The design of the car was a major innovation for Bugatti at the time, with the rear axle passing through the rear frame, rather than riding under it in previous models, hence giving the car a lower look. Described by Bonhams as the ‘ultimate pre-war supercar’, fashion icon Ralph Lauren obviously shares the same notion about the car, as he has two of them in his garage.  The car has a ‘virtually unbroken chain’ of owners since it left the production garage and is in remarkable authentic condition. The 57SC sold at Bonhams’ Amelia Island Auction in 2016 for a cool $9,735,000 (£7,517,367).

1) 1932 Bugatti Type 55 Roadster

Most Expensive Bugattis

Image Source: Gooding & Co.

Described by Gooding & Co. as ‘arguably the finest Type 55 Jean Bugatti roadster around’, the highly-coveted super car is famously a road-going version of the type 51 Grand Prix racing car. Although the car was built for road and not the track, the Bugatti entered in the famous Mille Miglia race in Italy on its first year of production under Jean Bugatti. However, the car, for whatever reason did not finish. Since then the Bugatti has passed through many different hands, both in mainland Europe and the U.S. with exacting restoration completed on the type 55 in 2013 by Marque Authority Laurent Rondoni. The car eventually sold for a staggering $10,400,000 (£8,030,880) and would be the main talking point of the Gooding & Co. Pebble Beach Auction 2016.

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2017 LaFerrari Aperta – Car of the Month September 2017

A Ferrari motor once again finds itself in Borro’s Car of the Month, and with the amount happening with the Italian luxury car manufacturer this September, it really couldn’t have been any other car brand. Ferrari was founded 70 years ago, in 1947 by the legendary Enzo Ferrari. The company thrived for years under Enzo, initiating what would go on to be one of the most successful racing teams ever, the ‘Scuderia Ferrari’ and has produced some of the most sought after road models in the world, such as the California, a timeless classic which has commanded some of the highest prices ever seen at auction.

The company continued to innovate on an unrivalled level, even after the passing of Enzo in August 1988 at the age of 90. It seems fitting that the company should celebrate the milestone of their 70th year of such extraordinary automotive accomplishments in style; and celebrate they did. Classic car shows around the world have been hosting extravagant Ferrari exhibitions all year, such as Salon Privé at the start of September who ran ‘70 Years of Ferrari’ on the final day. Of course, there was Ferrari themselves who celebrated at their headquarters in Maranello, Italy with an ‘unforgettable show’, in which hundreds of Ferrari’s were put up for sale by RM Sothebys.

2017 Ferrari LaFerrari Aperta

2017 LaFerrari Aperta


One of the biggest talking points of this auction was the 2017 LaFerrari Aperta, which was described by RM Sotheby’s as the ‘most eagerly anticipated and technologically advanced’ vehicle ever created; a justifiable statement. The Aperta was revealed to the world for the first time on September 9th at the 70th anniversary celebrations. It was the 210th of its kind to be produced, however it is Ferrari’s first venture into hybrid-electric technology, increasing its performance whilst reducing its carbon footprint.

Ferrari’s F1 expertise with KERS systems has been implemented into road cars with the V12 and the electric motor blending together perfectly for an outstanding automotive experience. The car is available with both a carbon fibre hard top and a soft top and is powered by a V12 engine combined with a 120KW electric motor, allowing for a top speed of 217mph and an illustrious sub 3 second 0-60mph. Another impressive feat coming from the auction is that 100 percent of the proceeds from the vehicle went to charity, showing RM Sotheby’s commitment to support those in need. The 2017 LaFerrari Aperta went on to sell for €8,300,000 (£7,387,000).

2017 LaFerrari Aperta


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The Golden Age of Bespoke Watchmaking

You may have heard that the watch industry is in crisis. While we live in challenging times, we are lucky at least that this is an interesting period. We’re seeing big businesses rethink, rebrand, and reposition themselves in response to new challenges; at the same time, smaller companies are either booming or busting at an alarming rate. Smaller companies are thriving due to unique offerings such as bespoke watchmaking.

Bespoke Watchmaking - Struthers London

Image supplied, courtesy of Struthers London

Things were easier 20 years ago, but things are better today. It’s better because everyone in the industry has to be better and produce better items. There’s no room for laziness, no dead weight, no time for a brand to stand still. Everyone and everything in the industry has to evolve, to adapt to new demands, to raise the bar higher than it’s ever been set before.

Rare Treasure

The volume of high-spenders might have dwindled, but the amount of ‘super rich’ has gone up – a trend that looks set to continue. Now is the perfect time for small, creative teams to design and sell their unique wares to the people who would never be satisfied with off-the-peg horology.

Roger Smith has been making small numbers of watches for a discerning, deep-pocketed clientele for years. He’s perhaps the best-known English watchmaker of his generation, but four years ago a new company emerged on the British mainland that is poised to capitalise on favourable market conditions for bespoke watchmaking.

Bespoke Watchmaking - Struthers London

Image supplied, courtesy of Struthers London

Struthers London is owned and run by Craig and Rebecca Struthers. Both trained watchmakers, Rebecca is a trailblazer in her academic field of Antiquarian Horology, and is the first person in the UK to earn a doctorate in the subject. Together, she and her husband assess each client’s individual needs and build-up a concept for them specifically. Work on each piece can take up to a year depending on the complexity of the design, but when you get into this realm of almost limitless personalisation, you don’t mind the wait. In fact, in many ways, that’s part of the charm.

This kind of bespoke watchmaking service is exactly what the industry needs to remain interesting. In some ways unique pieces are hard to value because they are tied to an individual rather than a generation-spanning story, or the perpetuation of a brand message. They perform an evermore-important function: They remind us that watchmaking is a joyful, artistic, and intensely personal passion. These items are truly treasure, and the mystic of the individual commissioning the piece, the integral value of the materials used, and the historical significance of the hand skills employed in their creation. So how much does it cost? Prices for a bespoke watch from Struthers London start at £30,000 – a small price to pay for a unique and personal work of art.


About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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2017 Goodwood Revival Review

Goodwood Revival 2017 - Race

Source: Author

The History of Goodwood Revival

Every year in September some of the world’s greatest icons of motor racing take to the circuit of yesteryear to create the racing spectacle of the Goodwood Revival. The rain failed to keep them away this year as another meeting passed the muster. Borro Blog’s car industry expert Bryan McMorran was there.

Even as a bona fide Scotsman, there is a small part of me that belongs to 2.8 miles of asphalt in West Sussex, England. Just outside the picturesque city of Chichester lies a race track that was once the perimeter road of RAF Westhampnett. Nowadays the world knows it as Goodwood, and every September Lord March and his team tempt racing royalty there to compete in a throwback event known simply as The Goodwood Revival.

Over 3 days, the sights and sounds of race cars from the 1950’s and ’60s battle wheel to wheel just as they did in period to the excitement of tens of thousands of spectators, who in their own tribute dress the part to ensure that the circuit has the same feel it did back in its heyday. Rockabillies, uniformed service men and women, seamed stockings and tweed all mix together in a nostalgic trip back in time. This may be a weekend of fun, but behind it all is a very serious business, and some proper racing, the likes of which can be sorely lacking in modern day motorsport.

RAC TT Commemorative Trophy

Throughout the weekend, single seater grand prix cars, tin-top touring cars and some of the world’s most iconic – and expensive – GT cars dance together in various races, the highlight being the RAC TT Commemorative Trophy on the Sunday afternoon. This is an hour-long race with a driver change that sees thundering AC Cobras dice with lithe Jaguar E-Type Lightweights and priceless Aston Martins and Ferraris for outright victory. Drivers include many current wheelmen from various classes of modern motorsport whose only aim is to win, irrespective of the value of the machine. With rain threatening to contribute to the outcome, the deafening roar of 30 of the finest GT cars in the world signalled the start of what was to be one of the most thrilling races of the weekend, with the Lightweight E-Type of Chris Ward and Gordon Sheddon just missing out on a hat-trick of victories thanks to a 13 second penalty handed to Ward on his first stint. This meant that the top step went to an extremely fast, and very loud Cobra.

Bonhams Goodwood Revival Sale

But don’t think that this is the only spectacle here. Children race Austin J30 pedal cars in the Settrington Cup, there are swing bands, there are retail emporiums selling everything from vintage clothing to vintage cars, the whole event has grown to be a true weekend of fun. And on the Saturday, Bonhams hold one of their most prominent car auctions of their calendar. This year, some truly wonderful cars found new homes with the always enigmatic Jamie Knight bringing his gavel down to the delight of sellers and the watching crowd. The Jack Sears Collection was a true highlight with his Ford Galaxie making a sensational £200,000 above its higher estimate when the hammer fell at £420,000. A fantastic result for a fantastic piece of history.

Nostalgic Elements

The event once again paid tribute to many, and none more poignant than the brave service men and women that served at the airfield during World War II. Eyes were focused skywards and through the emotions, the sight of a Spitfire, P51 Mustang and Corsair taking flight for low level passes made us truly grateful of the sacrifices made by many a brave soul to ensure that future generations never had to again. Touching and tearful.

And then eyes move back to the circuit where nostalgia was once again the order of the day with the legend of Tony Brooks taking to the track in the Vanwall that he and Sir Stirling Moss took to an amazing win in the 1957 British Grand Prix held at Aintree. Words cannot express what a sight that was to those of us not old enough to remember what these heroes were capable of in these fearsomely fast machines.

Delivering Despite the Rain

The Goodwood Revival never fails to deliver. Year after year, the effort put in by everyone involved makes the one-day ticket seem like a waste as there really is so much to see and do. And it isn’t just for petrol heads. So many wonderful sights and sounds from the Drive-in movie theatre to the Roller-Rink and fashion shows that were carefully choreographed, the overwhelming feeling from everyone who goes is only to ensure they get tickets for the next year.

Rain certainly didn’t stop play, nor did it even dampen anyone’s enthusiasm.

About the Author

Bryan McMorran is a car industry specialist and is Abbeyfield Sports & Classic’s Founder & Director.

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Salon Privé was greeted with glorious blue skies and sunshine to mark the end of summer, but there was no inclination of a transition into Autumn. The venue, Blenheim Palace, birth place of Sir Winston Churchill and home to the Duke of Marlborough looked as magnificent as ever. It could not have been a difficult decision for Salon Privé to announce the extension of their partnership with Blenheim Palace after the success of their 12th consecutive year in action. The country house will host the next nine years of events.

From classics to supercars, there was something for every car enthusiast, with brand new design exhibits from legendary brands such as Aston Martin and Lamborghini, to vintage Rolls Royces that dated back as far as 1909, still in pristine condition. Also on show were F1 simulators which allowed visitors to experience what it’s like to be in the driving seat in an old style F1 car, an attraction that proved popular with the more mature crowd as well as the kids. The event spanned a three-day period, with opening day coming on the Thursday, followed by Ladies’ Day on the Friday (which Borro Blog had the privilege of attending) and then the final day on Saturday, which featured the heavily anticipated auction and Concours Masters ‘Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari’

Salon Prive

A beautiful setting for one of the most prestigious luxury car events of the year

Notable Awards from the Exhibitions

Salon Privé Thursday & Friday

People’s Choice – Ferrari 365 GTS/4 Daytona Spider, Best of Show – Alfa Romeo 3000CM ‘Superflow’, Best of Show Runner-Up – Ferrari 250GT SWB California Spider

Salon Prive

Image Source: Auto Week – Alfa Romeo 3000cm: Winner of the Best of Show

Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari

Owner’s Choice Winner – 1956 Ferrari 250GT Berlinetta TDF, Owner’s Choice Runner-Up – 1953 Ferrari 250 Inter Europa Coupe, People’s Choice Winner – 1964 500 Superfast

Salon Prive

Image Source – Motor Sports Newswire – 1964 500 Superfast: Winner of People’s Choice Award for Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari


The grounds were buzzing with car enthusiasts, giving the event, the electric atmosphere anticipated. However, after a few conversations with other attendees I discovered Thursday had seen a far greater footfall, potentially due to the exclusivity of having the first peek at the cars on show. There were some impressive outfits on display, with Boodles offering a prize for the best dressed lady.

Salon Prive

It wasn’t just the ladies who went all out for the occasion

Now, onto the cars. As previously mentioned there was a real mix between modern supercars and classics here, from new concepts to proven exhibition winners. Borro Blog have picked out three cars that stood out as absolute masterpieces:

Jaguar E-Type 3.8 Series 1

Salon Prive

Best of British at Blenheim Palace Winner

Being a proudly British summertime event, what better way to start the list than with the ‘Best of British’ gold medallist for 2017. Jaguar is synonymous with high class British automotive engineering, and although it faced stiff competition from big hitters such as Aston Martin and Rolls Royce, it is easy to see why this model was ranked best British of British, with its elegance personifying the title. This model was manufactured in 1961 and is owned by entrant Chris Ballard. This type of model can fetch from anywhere between £150,000 to £350,000 depending upon condition and rarity based upon on previous sales of the same model.

1926 Rolls-Royce Phantom 1

Salon Prive

Salon Prive

Winner of Best Interior and Runner-up of Graceful Pre-War Motoring

The Phantom, simply put, is a breath-taking vehicle up close. It combines aesthetic attention to detail, with the meticulous engineering that can only be associated with Rolls-Royce motors. Foremost, it was the artistry and the craftsmanship that went into the Victorian style interior of the coach that drew the crowds. Complete with frescoes on the ceiling, a drinks cabinet, and rear seats which took more than nine months to create; it is possibly the most expensive Rolls Royce ever made. This car not only won the adoration of the crowds, it also won 1st place for the ‘Best Interior’ award and came runner-up for the ‘Graceful Pre-War Motoring’ award. The car last sold for £561,500 at a London Bonhams’ auction in December 2016.

 Aston Martin Vulcan

Salon Prive

The Vulcan’s V12 7 litre engine allows a sub 3 second 0-60mph and a boasts top speed well in excess of 200mph

This is the most extreme Aston Martin ever created and looks like it came straight out of a Bond car chase, the track-only Vulcan was the British luxury car manufacturers main exhibit at Salon Privé this year. The Vulcan sports an entirely carbon body, making it extremely lightweight, and its V12 7 litre engine allows a sub 3 second 0-60mph and boasts a top speed well in excess of 200mph, making this car as fast and powerful as it is beautiful. Only 24 Vulcan’s have ever been produced, making the car extremely exclusive. Vulcan’s retail at £2.7 million in the UK.

Concours Masters presents Tribute to 70 Years of Ferrari

Saturday was a big day at Salon Privé, featuring both the epic Ferrari exhibition and the auction in the afternoon. The ’70 Years of Ferrari’ celebration featured 70 Ferraris from the earliest UK owned Ferrari, the 1940s 166 Inter, right through to super cars of 2017. Notable awards include the Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta Tdf, which won the ‘Owner’s Choice’ category, and the 500 Superfast which was crowned the ‘People’s Choice’ winner. In the spirit of Ladies Day which occurred the day before, Salon Privé also ran a ‘Ladies Choice’ award, in which the Ferrari 342 was crowned champion.

Salon Prive

Source: aguswiss1 Flickr – 1956 Ferrari 250 GT Berlinetta TdF, Owner’s Choice Winner for 70 years of Ferrari

Silverstone Salon Privé Auction 2017

The final highlight of Salon Privé, before everyone packed up for another year was the Silverstone auction, which took part on Saturday afternoon. The lot brought 36 sales in total, with an accumulated value of £2,751,808. The 1992 Porsche 911 (964) Carrera RS N/GT sold for the highest value at £245,250. The entire list of all vehicles sold at this year’s Salon Privé auction are detailed in the table below: 

Car SoldValue
1989 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo SE 'Flat Nose' Cabriolet£245,250
1968 Ferrari 365 GT 2+2£196,875
1992 Porsche 911 (964) Carrera RS N/GT£194,625
1960 Porsche 356 B 'Super 90' Cabriolet£191,250
2012 Superformance GT40 Mk.I£126,000
1962 Porsche 356 B 1600 S Coupe£118,125
1934 Derby Bentley DH Coupé by Park Ward£114,750
1963 Chevrolet Corvette Sting Ray 'Split Window' Coupé£102,938
1969 Shelby GT500£102,375
1974 Lamborghini Urraco P250£96,188
1988 Porsche 911 (930) Turbo Targa£93,375
1974 Porsche 911 S 2.7£87,750
1974 BMW 2002 Turbo£81,000
1964 Mercedes-Benz 230 SL Pagoda£70,313
1986 Porsche 911 Supersport RSR Evocation£69,750
1962 Austin Healey 3000 MKII£61,250
1955 Jaguar XK140 Fixed Head Coupe SE£57,100
1990 BMW E30 M3 Convertible£51,750
2007 Aston Martin DB9 Coupé£48,375
1960 MGA 1600 MK1 'Deluxe' Roadster£47,813
2004 Mercedes-Benz SL55 AMG£47,250
2000 Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution Vl 'Tommi Makinen edition' - UK-spec£46,688
1964 Austin Healey 3000 Mk III£45,000
1976 Ferrari 208 GT4 'Dino'£42,750
1947 Jaguar Mk IV 1.5 SE£42,750
1968 Porsche 912 Targa£40,500
1965 Sunbeam Tiger 260 Mk I£39,417
1972 Ford Escort Mk.I Mexico£38,250
1972 Rolls Royce Corniche£37,125
1974 Range Rover (Suffix C)£36,000
1963 Lancia Flavia Vignale Convertible£34,875
1976 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow I£34,313
1989 Porsche 911 3.2 Carrera Sport Coupé G50£34,100
1991 Porsche 928 S4£30,375
1972 Triumph TR6£24,750
1966 Lamborghini 1R£20,813

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Stellar September 2017 Auction Calendar

After the seasonal lull in the auction world during the summer months, the September 2017 auction calendar is jam-packed with auctions featuring everything from fine art to jewellery and watches to luxury cars. See our featured auctions and the full auction calendar below.

RM Sotheby’s Ferrari – September 9th:

This is set to be the ‘most significant single-marque sale in auction history’, which is a bold accolade to back up. With RM Sotheby’s already being the market leader in sales of important Ferraris, this auction is set to feature classics, modern day super cars along with GT’s and racing cars. The most expensive of all Ferraris on display will be the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider, with a high estimate of €9,500,000 (£8,736,000).

Being true to the authenticity of the event, the auction will take place at the Ferrari factory in Maranello, Italy. The event starts at 4:30pm CEST and will run for approximately 2-3 hours. Truly an event not to be missed for Ferrari enthusiasts.

September 2017 Auction calendar

Source: RM Sotheby’s – Ferrari 250 GT LWB California Spider by Scaglietti, estimated (€7.5m-€9m)

Christie’s First Open sale on Sept. 15

Christie’s First Open sale will be held at King Street for the first time since the Kensington auction house closed for good. This auction will be a good indicator as to whether the closing is going to affect the post-war and contemporary art consigned in upcoming auctions. The most expensive item for sale is the ‘Intersuperficie curva bianca (White Curve Intersection) 1967’ by Paolo Scheggi, coming in with a higher estimate of £150,000. The auction will take place on September 15th at 1pm GMT. 

September 2017 Auction calendar

Source: Christie’s – ‘Intersuperficie curva Bianca (White Curve Intersection)’ Paolo Scheggi, estimated (£100,000-£150,000)

Bonhams’ Fine Jewelry Sale – September 19th

The first sale on our featured list from the September 2017 auction calendar to take place on American soil, the Bonhams’ Fine Jewerly auction will occur in Bonhams’ New York auction house, starting at 1pm EDT. The auction features extravagant and luxurious jewellery, ranging from rings to earrings to brooches. The ‘Emerald and Fancy Colored Diamond Ring’ tops the most expensive list coming in with a high estimate of $300,000 (£230,000). The ring a symbol of elegance and features a large emerald stone encrusted with precious diamonds.

September 2017 Auction calendar

Source: Bonhams An Emerald And Fancy Colored Diamond Rin, estimated (£150,000-£230,00)

See the full September 2017 auction calendar below:

AuctionAuction HouseCategoryDateLocationURL (If Known)
PRINTS AND MULTIPLESChristiesFine Art & Antiques09/02/2016New York, Rockefeller Plaza
The Beaulieu SalesBonhamsCars09/03/2016Beaulieu
20th Century & Contemporary Art Evening SalePhillipsFine Art & Antiques09/05/2016New York, Park Avenue
Impressionist & Modern Art Evening SaleSotheby'sFine Art & Antiques09/05/2016New York
DesignPhillipsFine Art & Antiques09/06/2016New York, Park Avenue
RM London Sotheby'sSotheby'sCars09/07/2016London
Christies Watches OnlineChristiesWatches09/07/2016Online
19 Century European ArtChristiesArt09/08/2016London
Beyond LimitsSotheby'sSculpture09/10/2016London
Goodwood RevivalBonhamsCars09/10/2016Chicester
Irish ArtSotheby'sFine Art9/13/2016London
Watches and WristwatchesBonhamsWatches9/13/2016London
Wine OnlineChristiesWine9/13/2016Online
Collected in America: Chinese CermaicsChristiesArt9/13/2016Online
Handbags and AccessoriesChristiesHandbags9/13/2016Online
Finest and Rarest WinesSotheby'sFine Wine9/14/2016London
The South AfricanBonhamsArt9/14/2016London
Out of the OrdinaryChristiesArt and Antiques9/14/2016London
Fine and Rare WinesBonhamsWine9/15/2016London
Fine and Rare WinesChristiesWine9/15/2016London
Jewellery and WatchesChristiesJewelry and Watches9/15/2016London
American ArtChristiesArt9/16/2016London
The Private Collection of President and Mrs. Ronald ReaganChristiesAll9/17/2016London
The Robert White CollectionBonhamsMotorcycles9/19/2016London
Contemporary CuratedSotheby'sFine Art9/20/2016London
Home and InteriorsBonhamsArt and Antiques9/20/2016London
Fine JewelleryBonhamsJewelry9/20/2016London
First Open PhotographsChristiesPhotography9/20/2016Online
First Open Post-War and Contemporary ArtChristiesArt9/20/2016Online
First Open EditionsChristiesArt and Antiques9/20/2016Online
Fine JewelsSotheby'sJewelry9/21/2016London
Print and MultiplesChristiesArt9/21/2016London
Brian Sewell - Critic and CollectorChristiesArt9/27/2016London
The Oak InteriorBonhamsArt and Antiques9/28/2016London
19th Century European, Victorian and British Impressionist ArtBonhamsArt9/28/2016London
First Open Post-War and Contemporary ArtChristiesArt9/29/2016London

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Are Patek Philippe Watches a Good Investment?

I recently asked the same question about Hublot watches for the Borro Blog. The upshot of that examination was that certain things drive collectability, and thus feed in to the appreciation of value. In the case of Hublot it was their use and development of new, exciting materials that are exclusive to their brand, the ability to produce a lot of components in house, and the historical (however recent) significance of the Big Bang model.

Patek Philippe Watches a Good Investment -Patek 1

Image supplied, courtesy of Patek Philippe

Patek Philippe have a long and storied history and hold the distinction of being one of the oldest continuously operational maisons that remains independently owned to this day.

The Fathers of Time

Patek Philippe was not the first brand in the world (in fact, Antoni Patek had another company before he teamed up with Adrien Philippe; for several years he was paired with Franciszek Czapek, whose name now adorns a revived brand since 2011), but it is often regarded as the ‘Big Daddy’ of Swiss watchmaking, and rightly so.

Patek Philippe watches are meticulously handcrafted in Geneva and expertly marketed across the globe. Their reputation is as a top-tier watchmaker that produces products that will stand the test of time.

In fact, this is so much a part of the brand’s reputation that their press material endlessly referencing the notion that the ‘owners’ of these watches are simply custodians for the next generation. It’s a slick angle, and one that perpetuates the idea that Patek Philippe timepieces are heirlooms in waiting.

Patek Philippe Watches a Good Investment -Patek 2

Image supplied, courtesy of Patek Philippe

And in all honesty, there is probably more truth in Patek Philippe’s flagrant insinuation of value appreciation than most any other brand. On their website, they even go as far as to claim that Patek Philippe watches are a good investment.

As with Hublot, there are certain characteristics of Patek Philippe watches that make them arguably sound investments: Inherent quality, the use of precious metals, and almost unrivalled provenance. You know what you’re getting with a Patek Philippe – it’s not just a watch for life; it’s a watch for several lifetimes.

I explored collecting watches as an investment in another article on this site, but one thing from that piece very much rings true when it comes to Patek Philippe, and that’s that every man and his dog knows how ‘collectible’ these watches are.

Remember that watch collecting is a saturated market. Yes, a Patek is one of the soundest purchases you can make in the industry, but don’t expect to be the only one who knows that Patek Philippe watches are a good investment. To trump the crowds of fellow consumers you will have to lock the watch away in a safe, tucked up in a soft cloth and away from direct sunlight.

But if it’s a monetary rather than esoteric return you’re after, then the custodianship of a Patek Philippe is most definitely something you should consider.

If you have an investment worthy Patek Philippe, learn about your options for borrowing against it.


About the Author: Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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The Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine Sold at Auction

Borro sees fine wine as an investment and provides loans against the secondary market value of such wines. In the spirit of this, we’ve compiled a list of the top five most expensive bottles of wine that have been sold at auction.

5) 1869 Chateau Lafite’s – £178,000

Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine - 1869 Chateau Lafite's

Image Source: The Drinks Business

Starting our list is this 1869 Chateau Lafite’s has become the world’s most expensive standard sized bottle of wine to ever be sold. The wine was sold in 2010 in Hong Kong by Sotheby’s for £178,000.

4) Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1990 – £207,000

Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine - Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Romanée-Conti 1990

Image Source: Christie’s

In 2016, these 5 bottles of Romanée-Conti sold for nearly twice their auction estimate. They were sold at auction by Christie’s for £207,000 in Hong Kong.

3) 1907 Heidsieck Champagne – £213,000

Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine - 1907 Heidsieck Champagne

Image Source: The Drinks Business

This wine has had a bit of an adventure.  In 1998, several thousand bottles of it were rescued after 80 years of being at the bottom of the sea in a torpedoed World War I ship. The bottles have since been sold at several auctions for £213,000 each.

2) 1947 Cheval Blanc – £235,000

Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine - 1947 Cheval Blanc

Image Source: The Drinks Business

In 2010, this bottle of wine won the title for the most expensive single bottle of wine to ever be sold at auction. It was sold to a private collector in Geneva by Christie’s for £235,000

1) 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet – £387,000

Top 5 Most Expensive Bottles of Wine - 1992 Screaming Eagle Cabernet

Image Source: The Drinks Business

In 2000 a six litre bottle of Screaming Eagle Cabernet became the most expensive bottle of wine ever sold at auction. It was sold at a charity wine auction in Napa for £387,000.

That concludes our list of the top five most expensive bottles of wine sold at auction. If you have some fine wine and are looking to raise funds against it, head to the Borro website to find out how we can help.

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The Case for Fine Wine Investment – Part 1 of 2

The Case for Wine Investment – Part 2 of 2

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Maintaining a Supercar – Tips from an Expert

With many different options available to fund a supercar, it’s important not to skimp on the maintenance to protect your purchase. Here, Bryan McMorran discusses the important aspects of maintaining a supercar.

Maintaining a Supercar - Image

With various manufacturers entering the supercar leagues over the past few years (Audi R8, new Honda NSX, arguably even Nissan with the GTR) funding options have brought these new breeds of 200mph machines into the financial reach of many more drivers. It is, however, not just the payment of the car one must consider, but also how to keep it operating in its prime too. After all, it would be a very expensive ornament for your driveway if you didn’t. So, what are the important things to consider when you do take the plunge?

  1. Servicing & parts

It may seem obvious, but when buying a car, find out the cost of servicing before signing. On many modern supercars, service intervals have been extended from what they were with some marques (Porsche are 20,000 miles for instance), but they can still be very labour-intensive operations, and hence the cost can be similarly high. If so, find out whether they offer a maintenance package. This usually involves fixed-priced services, parts & labour, for a period of time, or mileage limit. These are paid monthly, just like a finance plan, and therefore easier to budget for. Tyres can sometimes be catered for too, but not for too many trips to the Nurburgring remember. A stamped service history is also vital for maintaining a supercar’s value, so it’s not something to skimp on. Not only does it make a financial difference, but also a desirability factor when you are looking to sell or borrow against the supercar. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. With more choice out there, why should they purchase a car that has missed a few over one that has been serviced to the letter? Remember, prospects buy with their feet, and a car that has gaps in a service book will not have them hanging around.

  1. Cosmetics

All modern cars are painted with water-based paints for environmental reasons. The downside is that they tend to be thinner and therefore not as hardy to road elements. Many companies now offer a form of paint protection to buyers for maintaining their supercar. This can be something as simple as a transparent film that they can shape to fit the car in its vulnerable areas (nosecone, wheel arches, etc) to the very best of ceramic coatings that effectively seal the paintwork much like a varnish protects wood. The acidity in bird droppings, the harmful chemicals and brushes at a car wash and even the almost microscopic iron fillings that are produced from passing trains over nearby railway tracks all eat into a car’s paintwork causing irreparable damage over time. It’s always a good idea to spend a little bit of money on a good detailer. They will correct any paint blemishes already present, then set to work providing a protective layer that will not only make the car shine again, but keep its lustre for longer with minimal maintenance from you.

  1. Classic supercars

Up until now, we have been discussing the more modern and easier supercars to maintain, but how about the older generations, such as the now popular ’80’s Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Porsches? Do they still need pampering? Well, yes really. The good news, however, is that there are now many reputable specialists who care for this age of car, in many ways, even better than the main agents can. As manufacturers move away from maintaining some of the older models due to complexity, these specialists are sometimes staffed by the people who looked after these cars when they were new, and now offer a vat of knowledge that is almost priceless. If you do own a classic supercar, or have recently bought one, find out who the reputable and trustworthy ones are. Owners club forums and classic car shows are a great way to find out who is trusted and offer you the best route to maintaining a supercar. Get to know them well and discuss any remedial work that is needed. They will probably be able to assist you and prioritise the work so you don’t have to spend heavily all at once.

Also, keep in mind that paintwork (as mentioned) and leather trim will be different in older cars than newer ones. Always seek the advice of those in the know before using a product that may cause more harm than good.

Summarizing the key points:

  • Don’t skimp on servicing and use quality parts only.
  • Inquire about a manufacturer’s maintenance policy.
  • Details should never be overlooked – keep paintwork and alloy wheels looking fresh.
  • Don’t assume that older supercars can be maintained by dealers; find a good specialist you trust.


About the Author

Bryan McMorran is a car industry specialist and is Abbeyfield Sports & Classic’s Founder & Director.

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