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New York auction


One of Elvis Presley’s guitars has sold for $334,000 at an auction in New York.

The guitar was given by his father, Vernon Presley.

It is thought that Vernon Presley changed the finish on the Gibson Dove to black after his son earned a black belt in karate.Elvis Presley guitar auction

Elvis Presley gave the guitar to a fan during a concert in North Carolina in 1975.

Auctioneers Julien’s also sold John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for The Beatles’ Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite! for $354,400.

Other items in the sale included a red neoprene vinyl jacket which Michael Jackson wore for his 1996-97 HIStory world tour, and Elvis Presley’s first piano.

Michael Jackson’s jacket sold for $256,000, over four times the pre-sale estimate, while the piano fetched $140,025 – about $60,000 under what had been predicted.

Lady Gaga’s first piano, which had been valued at $100,000, failed to find a buyer, as did Stevie Ray Vaughan’s Fender Broadcaster electric guitar, which was estimated at over $400,000.


Piet Mondrian’s 1929 oil painting Composition No III, with Red, Blue, Yellow and Black has sold for $50.6 million at a New York auction.

The sum is an auction record for the Dutch artist’s work.

The painting features the geometric style for which the artist became renowned.Piet Mondrian Composition No III

The sale price, which includes a 12% buyer’s premium, was more than twice its estimate of $15million to $25 million.

Piet Mondrian’s previous auction record was $27.6 million.

The auction capped two weeks of sales that have brought in record sums of money at both Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses.

Christie’s alone took more than $1.3 billion during the course of its two days sales this week.


More than $1 billion worth of art will come under the hammer in New York’s autumn art auctions, which start later.

Highlights of the four nights of sales include works by Picasso, Monet, Rothko and Andy Warhol.

Officials from the auction houses Sotheby’s and Christie’s have described the current art market as “exuberant”.

Earlier this year Edvard Munch’s The Scream set a new auction record for art when it sold for $120 million.

Experts have said there is little chance of that record being surpassed but expect Claude Monet’s Nympheas and Mark Rothko’s No1 (Royal Red and Blue) to be sold for about $50 million.

Brooke Lampley, Christie’s head of Impressionist and Modern Art, ascribed the inflationary bubble in the art world to growing demand.

“Participation in our major sales is more global than ever, with buyers from growing markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East,” she said.

The company’s Americas chairman, Marc Porter, said the high quality of lots at Christie’s Post-Impressionist and Contemporary auctions was in part due to what he called “discretionary sellers” – collectors who decide to realize their assets.

More than $1 billion worth of art will come under the hammer in New York's autumn art auctions

More than $1 billion worth of art will come under the hammer in New York’s autumn art auctions

Analysts have said rising prices for the rarest works have encouraged owners to offer prized possessions for sale.

With new buyers from China, Russia and Qatar willing to pay what it takes to secure iconic works, the prices at auction have risen sharply.

But some experts have warned the disparity between art values and the broader economy cannot continue and that while the most coveted works are rising in value, other sectors of the art market are less buoyant.

The four nights of sales at Sotheby’s and Christie’s get under way later with Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sale. Its highlight is expected to be Monet’s Nympheas.

On Thursday Sotheby’s will belatedly stage its own Impressionist auction. The sale has been delayed for three days because of the damage caused to New York and its infrastructure by Hurricane Sandy.

Among the 68 lots there is much interest in Pablo Picasso’s Still Life with Tulips, painted in 1932 in under three hours.

This disguised portrait of his mistress, Marie Therese Walter, fetched $28.6 million when it was last sold in 2000. Its estimate this time round is between $35 million and $50 million.

Next week the two auction houses stage their contemporary sales, where works include Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Untitled 1981. Its sale could set a new record for the painter.

Basquiat rose from being an obscure graffiti artist in New York to become one of the city’s most lionized artists before his death of a heroin overdose in 1988.

Most expensive works sold at auction

The Scream by Edvard Munch – $120 million , May 2012

Nude, Green Leaves and Bust by Pablo Picasso – $106 million, April 2010

L’Homme qui Marche by Alberto Giacometti – $104 million, January 2010

Boy with a Pipe by Pablo Picasso – $104 m, May 2004

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer II by Gustav Klimt – $88 million, November 2006


A rare functioning Apple 1 computer – the company’s first product – has been sold at a New York auction for $374,500.

The price was more than double Sotheby’s high estimate and sets a new record for the collector’s item.

A memo written by Apple’s co-founder Steve Jobs when he worked at Atari sold for $27,500 at the same New York event.

The original estimate for the four-page handwritten note was up to $15,000.

Only about 200 Apple 1s were ever created. The computers were hand-built by Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak and originally sold for $666.66 as a fully assembled circuit board.

A rare functioning Apple 1 computer, the company's first product, has been sold at a New York auction for $374,500

A rare functioning Apple 1 computer, the company's first product, has been sold at a New York auction for $374,500

He later said he picked a sum with a repeating number “because it was just an easier way to type”.

Only about 50 Apple 1s are still believed to be in existence. The auctioned model is one of the very few that still works.

Sotheby’s said there was a battle between two parties for the item which also included the original manuals. A set of bids was executed by the auctioneer on behalf of an absentee collector, but a telephone bidder proved more persistent and eventually clinched the sale.

Their identity has not been revealed.

The Atari memo was written in 1974 and consists of four pages detailing the late Steve Jobs’ thoughts on how to improve its arcade football game World Cup.

Steve Jobs was 19 years old at the time. The pages include circuit drawings and diagrams showing how the paddle-based game could be made more fun to play.

The notes are stamped with Steve Jobs’ Los Altos home address and a Buddhist mantra – “gate gate paragate parasangate bodhi svahdl”.

It translates as: “Going, going, going on beyond, always going on beyond, always becoming Buddha.”

Sotheby’s said there had been “at least three bidders” for the item.

The high sums are the latest confirmation of demand for memorabilia connected to Steve Jobs, who died last October.

Apple’s founding papers, featuring Steve Jobs’ signature, sold at auction in December for close to $1.6 million.

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