Highly-valued Craftsmanships – The Latest Top Bids in the Auction World

A piece of painting, an automobile or anything that has an interesting story and history to it always becomes a priced possession and dominates in the auction world. To add to it, if the bidding item is completed with great craftsmanship, it is always bought for millions.

Passionate CLINCH

Woman sculptor inspired by ancient poem

great craftsmanship

Camille Claudel’s L’Abandon sold for £831,600 (about US$1.01 million) at a Christie’s sale of Impressionist and Modern Art in London, beating out two sculptures by Auguste Rodin, briefly her collaborator and lover, for the auction top spot. Cast in bronze by Eugène Blot in 1905, the work is hailed as the French figurative sculptor’s breakthrough. Born in Fère-en-Tardenois, a rural village between Paris and Reims, Claudel’s mother told her any desires to become an artist were ‘unladylike’. Her father, however, presented some of her early work to a neighbour: the sculptor Alfred Boucher. Impressed, he became the girl’s mentor, and following his advice, the family moved to Paris in 1881. Claudel enrolled at the Académie Colarossi – a progressive art school that admitted women. In 1886, she began working on L’Abandon, a sculpture of an embracing couple inspired by the ancient Sanskrit poem Sakuntala. Exhibited in plaster at the 1888 Salon des Artistes Français, it won an honourable mention. The critic André Michel praised its “profound feeling of tenderness both chaste and passionate, an impression of quivering, of restrained ardour”

Top table

Italian dining furniture attracts huge bid

great craftsmanship

A magnificent Italian ormolu, white marble and semi-precious hardstone-inlaid centre table went for a healthy US$1.5 million at the widely-anticipated auction of Modern Medici: Masterpieces from a New York Collection held by Christie’s. One of the sale’s shining highlights, this bejewelled piece of furniture is a prime example of early 19th-century Italian craftsmanship – an elegantly sculptured base expertly rendered in gilt bronze with a rich combination of chased and burnished surfaces, paired with a marble top inlaid with glorious coloured stones. The latter, circa 1800-1810, is the handiwork of Roman mosaicist Giacomo Raffaelli. Assessing the appeal of this rare lot, William Strafford, Christie’s Deputy Chairman, European Furniture and Decorative Arts, said: “The spectacular table is a fine embodiment of the art of pietra dura and sculptural gilt-bronzes. Its eye-catching top is inset throughout with rare samples of semi-precious hardstones, an attribute that saw the table hugely admired during an exhibition dedicated to this exquisite collection. We were thrilled that it was one of two lots that fetched the highest prices of the sale, selling for US$1.5 million to an anonymous buyer.

Church Record

Happy ending for looted Kandinsky

great craftsmanship

A bid of US$44.9 million at a recent Sotheby’s sale scooped up a masterpiece by Wassily Kandinsky, representing a new auction record for the artist. The painting, Murnau mit Kirche II (Murnau with Church II), originates from 1920 and encapsulates the beginnings of the revolutionary abstract language that would underpin the rest of Kandinsky’s career. The work was recently returned to the descendants of its rightful owners, the Berlin art collectors Siegbert and Johanna Margarethe Stern; Johanna died at Auschwitz in 1944. Auction proceeds are to be shared between the 13 surviving Stern heirs and used to fund further research into the fate of their family collection. Lucian Simmons, Vice Chairman and Sotheby’s Worldwide Head of Restitution said: “This year marks the 25th anniversary of the conference, held in Washington, D.C., that first established the ground rules for the restitution of artworks looted by the Nazis during the Second World War. Since then, Sotheby’s Restitution Department has worked with many heirs and families to reunite them with their stolen property and, at the same time, to help re-tell their stories and celebrate their lives.”

Bugatti blast

Frenzied bidding for last-of-its-kind supercar

great craftsmanship

A Bugatti Chiron Profilée, the last W16-powered car available from the famed French automotive atelier, has gone for nearly 9.8 million euros (about US$10.7 million), making it the most valuable new car ever sold at auction. It was the last possible opportunity to buy a new Bugatti powered by the legendary W16 engine – the only 16-cylinder engine in the world to be used in a car. With such an important piece of Bugatti history at stake, bidding was fierce. Marcus Görig, Car Specialist at RM Sotheby’s, said: “It was an honour for us to host this very special lot in collaboration with Bugatti. The sale of the Chiron Profilée was one of the most anticipated moments of the whole auction. With enormous global interest in the car, the Profilée attracted considerable attention at the auction among bidders and curious viewers who had visited to have a glimpse of this unique car.” Designed as a more radical version of the Chiron Sport, the Profilée took its name from one of Jean Bugatti’s first creations – a specific Type 46 model known as Surprofilée, with a sleeker silhouette and an elegant sweeping tail.

Also Read: Applauding Creations From Different Centuries – Auction Bids to Note

Starting a car collection? 8 classic cars that you should not miss!

If you’re looking to start a collection of automobiles and are on the look out for a worthy collectible to add to your collection, you better be ready to fork out some real dough as the most desirable and highly coveted of collectible cars command an insurmountably high price at auction. From a US$48.4 million Ferrari to the the most expensive pre-war car of the century. Here are eight classic cars to add to your collection. 

1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu auction most expensive 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT (1)

Kicking off a list of most desired classic car to add to a collection with the most expensive car in the world the 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, chassis number 4153 GT. It is one of only 39 examples of the 250 GTO that were built between the year 1962 and 1964. Extremely rare, the vehicle was purchased by American collector David MacNeil for a tear-jerking US$70 million in a private sale in 2018. Besides the present vehicle, the record holder for most expensive car to sell at auction goes to another Ferrari grand tourer, the 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO by Scaglietti, chassis number 3413, which fetched US$48.4 million at RM Sotheby’s 2018 Monetery Car Sale for a jaw-dropping US$48.4 million. 

1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, chassis no. 196 010 00006/54 

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu 1954 Mercedes-Benz W196R, chassis no. 196 010 00006_54 

Nicknamed the Silver Arrow for its bullet-like silhouette and speedy acceleration that won against the likes of Maserati and Ferrari in 1954 Grand Prix, making German history when it brought home the country’s first win since 1939. It is famed for its ultra-lightweight frame that weighed only a mere 46kg. It is one only 16 produced, of which only 10 still exists today, but the present model is the only one remaining in private hands. Despite the dents and blemishes from two seasons of intense racing, the model still fetched a significant sum at Bonhams’ The Goodwood Festival of Speed Sale Collector’s Motor Cars and Automobilia in 2013 where it went under the hammer for US$29.6 million.

1956 Aston Martin DBR1 

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu auction most expensive 1956 Aston Martin DBR1 

Before its Bond fame, British independent marque Aston Martin was known for both beauty and speed on the track. A case in point is the rare 1956 Aston Martin DBR1, winning nine out of 18 wins throughout its career. It is the most successful race car in Aston Martin history, boasting racing legends like Sir Stirling Moss, Reg Parnell, Roy Salvador and Caroll Shelby among its drivers. Adding to its fame and exclusivity, it is one of only five built with the British compan’y badge fitted on it; which may explain the significant price tag of the model when it was sold at auction at RM Sotheby’s for US$22.5 million in 2017  but not before a seven-minute bidding war ensued.

Also Read: Writing Millions: Five most expensive pens in the world 

1935 Duesenberg SSJ 

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu auction most expensive 1935 Duesenberg SSJ 

The 1935 Duesenberg SSJ is an American automotive legend produced by the brotherly duo behind the Duesenberg automobiles. Although the manufacturer was only in production between 1913 to 1937, the marque had earned multiple accolades during its time. Part of their impressive range of vehicles was the 1935 SSJ which featured a short-wheeled base and a stronger engine. Only two of these models were produced and delivered to American movie stars Clark Gabel and Gary Cooper, the latter being the present model in question. It wasn’t until 2018 when it found its way to the auction block at Gooding & Company’s 2018 Monterey Car Week did it make modern day history as the most expensive American car ever sold at a total of US$22 million. 

1955 Jaguar D-Type

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu 1955 Jaguar D-Type

At the birth British luxury manufacturer Jaguar’s 1955 D-Type, there was only one goal in the marque’s mind: Winning the Le Mans 24-Hour tour. It is undeniably one of the most notable racing cars ever made, competing between 1954 and 1959, the 1955 Jaguar D-Type boasts innovation and speed that led to its 1955, 1956, and 1956 wins. The model was kept in pristine condition which might justify its large price tag of US$21.7 million – selling at RM Sotheby’s in 2016. 

1995 McLaren F1 

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu auction most expensive McLaren MP4 _ 1

British automative manufacturer of luxury, high-performance sportscars and supercars McLaren changed history when it rolled out the world’s first carbon fibre road car, a Formula 1 vehicle – the McLaren MP4 / 1, in 1981. The brand has since been billed for its beautifully sleek, streamlined aesthetics and exhilaratingly quick acceleration, that continues to make headlines. Most recently, in August 2021, a rarely driven 1995 McLaren F1 – coined to be the ultimate road car to beat all supercars – was sold for a mindblowing sum of US$20.5 million at a Gooding & Company auction, making this model the most expensive F1 of all time; and the most expensive vehicle to have sold at auction in 2021. It is one of only 106 models made, and features some very unique design highlights such as a single row of three seats with the driver situated in the middle; and a gold plat3ed heat shield installed within the engine compartment. 

Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic

French automobile manufacturer Bugatti was known to conquer the road in acceleration, speed and magnificently beautiful and sleek designs. The marque is famed for its many incredible collectible classics that often stir the crowd in excitement whenever one is presented at auction. The Type 57 in particular, which where produced for only seven years – totaling only 710 models, is so highly coveted that a 1936 Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic set the world record for most expensive car in the world when it fetched more than US$30 million at a Gooding & Company auction in 2010. The model is so sought after desired that it is said that a collector could spend years searching for their desired year, trim and variant. 

1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider

Classic cars to add to your collection gafencu 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider

An epitome of Italian luxury, the 1939 Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B Lungo Spider by the Italian luxury car manufacturer Alfa Romeo is the Italian equivalent of a Bugatti Atlantic. Specifically the present vehicle, coined Immortal 2.9, is one of only seven of its kind that boasts a magnificently restored state after its parts were scattered during WWII. Amazingly, it was restored back to its complete original state by UK 2.9 expert Tony Merrick. In 2016, it was the first Immortal 2.9 offered at public auction. It realised a sum of US$19.8 million at RM Sotehby’s Monetery 2016 Classic Car Sale, making it the most-expensive pre-war car until it was superseded by the 1935 Duesenberg SSJ Le Grande Rodster in 2018 (US$22 million).

Also Read: Legendary Aston Martin DB5 Goldfinger unveiled as new 007 film debuts

Bugatti La Voiture Noire becomes world’s most expensive new car

Just when you thought the world of autocratic automobiles couldn’t possibly get any more exciting, the very latest supercar – the Bugatti La Voiture Noire – smashed all previous records by commanding a price of US$18 million.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire is now the world's most expensive new car

Luxuriously crafted and exotically created by France’s Bugatti Automobiles S.A.S, a Volkswagen group subsidiary, it is now officially the most expensive new car ever sold. At least part of its value is down to the fact that it is a genuine one-off, with no take two planned for this most memorable of motors.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire sold for over US$18 million

Undoubtedly the most remarkable motor vehicle to have been crafted in the 21st century to date, the genuinely magnificent La Voiture Noire comes equipped with a massive 8-litre quad-turbocharged 16-cylinder engine capable of delivering up to 1,500 bHp.

Bugatti La Voiture Noire details

Describing the “aesthetic feast” that is La Voiture Noire, Bugatti president Stephan Winkelmann said: “We are paying tribute to a long tradition, to France and the creative work of Jean Bugatti. At the same time, we are transferring extraordinary technology aesthetics and extreme luxury to a new age.”