Auction Highlights: The most desirable and highest commanding collectible items to go under the hammer
Featuring some of the most desirable and highest commanding collectibles that realised outstanding (and record-breaking) sums, at auction recently, from a stunning diamond bracelet, a historic Rolex Daytona, a beautifully illustrated medieval prayer book, and Kanye West’s record-breaking sneakers, these are the top bids that recently hit headlines…
An illustrated prayer book scores top bid
The Book of Hour is a medieval Christian prayer book organised by the time of day and comprised of beautifully illuminated texts, sumptuous page decorations, and portrait panels that reflected the wealth and discernment of well-to-do men and women. Recently a Parisian Book of Hours on vellum circa the 1440s went under the hammer for an outstanding US$3.6 million at Christie’s. Illustrated by the Master of the Paris Bartholomeus Anglicus, the tome remains complete and in pristine condition and is said to be the most richly illuminated work of its enigmatic creator.
A historical Rolex Daytona races into the money
The first iteration of the highly desirable Rolex Cosmograph Daytona can be traced back to 1963. Designed with the racing driver in mind, the chronograph become one of Rolex’s most-loved and hard-to-find models. This year, a Rolex Cosmograph Daytona Ref. 16516, found its way to Sotheby’s Important Watch sale, where it realised more than HK$24 million. Sporting a one-of-a-kind lacquered ‘Stella’ dial in turquoise, the 40mm timepiece remains in working condition with only minor blemishes and visible surface wear. According to the auction house, it is one of five models made that year nicknamed ‘Zenith’ for their Zenith calibre 4030 movements.
A magnificent jewel snapped up at showpiece sale
Hong Kong remains the precious heart of Asia when it comes to valuable diamonds and gems. The region’s insatiable appetite for large, high-quality stones proved to be unabated when a show-stopping Diamond and Rock Crystal Bangle sold for an astounding HK$46.9 million at auction on 21 April. A hot ticket item in Sotheby’s Hong Kong Magnificent Jewels sale, this rare and phenomenal 63.66-carat pear-shaped internally flawless white diamond bracelet was rightly acclaimed as an architectural masterpiece by its creator, French luxury jeweller Cartier.
Kanye West’s record breaking sneakers
Recently, Kanye West’s 2008 ‘Grammy worn’ Nike Air Yeezy 1 Prototype sneakers went under the hammer at a private sale at Sotheby’s. The 13-year-old sports shoes fetched US$1.8 million, the highest publicly recorded price for a pair of sneakers, tripling the auction house’s record for being the most valuable sneakers ever sold. Nike Air Yeezy was the first collaboration by a major footwear label with a non-athlete. It was, at the time, Nike’s top-secret project that became “one of the most brilliant reveals in sneaker history and a pillar in the advent of modern sneaker culture”, according to Sotheby’s.
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