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Titanic Bidding for Sunken Bugatti at Bonhams Retromobile Sale
"1925 Bugatti Brescia, Chassis no. 2461 Engine no. 879". Photo: Courtesy Bonhams.
PARIS.- The Bugatti Type 22 that had lain submerged 53 metres below the surface of Lake Maggiore for over 70 years had attracted much pre-sale publicity. A number of telephone bidders sparred against those in the room. The winning bidder - a European collector representing the Peter Mullin Collection in California - will show the car in its present condition in his museum, whereas the underbidder - an American - had intended to restore the car.

The Andalusian Collection from Spain fetched €3,175,000 with 20 out of 27 motor cars selling - a sale rate of 74%.

A packed saleroom, surrounded by the cars on offer, witnessed over 70% of the lots on offer sell for a premium inclusive €6.72m total. As one would expect, a truly international audience participated in the room and from the large bank of telephone bidders. With the Euro remaining strong against UK Sterling, the Eurozone currencies were generally victorious. However, the USA played a prominent part too, and a number of valuable cars are now destined for North America.

The automobilia section always delivers a surprise and lot 49 - a pair of period Rolls-Royce Bookends - sold for €19,225, some 10 times the pre-sale estimate.

James Knight, Group Head of Bonhams’ Motoring department commented: “I am pleased that Bonhams have delivered another good sale at Rétromobile. The partnership of both the Bonhams and Rétromobile organisations ensured we can present a world class auction for a world class event. The Lake Maggiore Bugatti was a tremendous result and I am pleased it has gone to a good home where it will be displayed in its present form. By the time the sale finished we had achieved a success rate of over 70%. With any auction there is always selective bidding, and there were one or two disappointments, but demand is very much in evidence for prime examples - whatever age, style and value.”

Bonhams | The Bugatti | Peter Mullin Collection | James Knight |


Last Week News

January 25, 2010

Christie's to Offer One of the Largest Old Master Paintings Ever at Sale This Week

Walton Ford Shows Paintings in Europe for the First Time

Katrin Bellinger of Colnaghi to Show Important Drawings at Le Salon de Dessin

Superb Flemish Illuminated Manuscripts on View at the Morgan Library

Solo Exhibition of Work by Elisabeth Subrin at Sue Scott Gallery

Olav Christopher Jenssen, a Contemporary Norwegian Painter, at Kiasma

Mini-Retrospective of Work by Bruce Conner to be Presented by Creative Time

Flo Peters Gallery Opens the Year with Exhibition by Three American Photographers

The Art of Contemporary Puppet Theater to Open at the Katonah Museum of Art

MCA Denver Presents Looking for the Face I Had Before the World Was Made

Maloney Fine Art Shows Small Group of Figurative Sculptures by Thomas Schütte

SFMOMA Artists Gallery to Open Two New Shows in February

Gasworks Presents the First Solo Exhibition in a London Public Gallery by Tim Etchells

Long Beach Museum of Art Celebrates 60th Anniversary of the Museum's Impressive Permanent Collection

As Part of Artology: the Fusion of Art and Science at Cranbrook

Wysing Arts Centre Launches "Year of the Improbable" with Mark Aerial Walle Solo Show

First Major Exhibition for Belgian Artists Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys at Kunsthalle Basel

Post-Minimalist Artist Miya Ando Honors Family History by Melding Steel and Meditation

New and Powerful Exhibition Coming to London

Mark Newport Explores Modern-day Heroes in Laumeier Exhibition

January 24, 2010

Museum of Fine Arts in Leipzig Focuses Exhibition on Ernst Ludwig Kirchner's Drawings

First Solo Show in Western Europe for Todd Hido at Kaune, Sudendorf Gallery

Abstraction Pioneer Slobodkina Featured at Sheldon Museum of Art

Recent Paintings and Pastels by Yvonne Jacquette Announced at DC Moore Gallery

Major Exhibition of Works by Guillermo Kuitca to Premiere in Western New York

2,000 Years of Geography and Mapping at the Bruce Museum

US Military Veterans Working on Archaeological Project

Print Portfolios from Four Biennials on View at International Centre of Graphic Arts

First Major UK Solo Exhibition for Sardine & Tobleroni at WW Gallery

Manchester's Cornerhouse Features a Selection of Recent Work by David Mackintosh

Exhibition of Soviet-Era Posters to Open at the Fleming Museum

New Mixed Media Paintings by Bay Area Artist Freddy Chandra at Walter Maciel Gallery

Mayor Bloomberg Unveils New Design for Sidewalk Sheds

Royal Museum of Fine Arts in Antwerp Presents Works on Paper by Koen van den Broek

Everson Presents Jen Pepper: That Which Cannot be Held as Part of Artist Series

Rubin Museum of Art to Show Exhibition of Tibetan Landscapes by Tom Wool

Victoria & Albert Museum Announces Jameel Prize Exhibition to Tour the Middle East

Artist Daniel Arsham to Take Paris by Storm with Solo Exhibition

Osram Collection Presents Latest Acquisitions by Student of Peter Doig

Earthquake Effects on Pyramids Documented in a Book

January 23, 2010

Major Exhibition of the Work of Renowned Sculptor Ron Mueck Opens in Melbourne

Paris and the Avant-Garde: Masters from the Guggenheim Collection Opens

Lawyer Says Disputed Van Gogh Worth Up to $150 Million

Sotheby's Sets a Record for American Silver at Auction - Bowl Sells for $5.9 M

MoMA and P.S. 1 Select Winner of 11th Annual Young Architects Program

First Show in New York to Focus on Late Renaissance Drawing in Rome

Biennale di Venezia Presents Kazuyo Sejima as Director of Architecture

Tracey Emin's Chess Set Acquired by the Whitworth Art Gallery

Three Architects Selected to Receive the 2010 AIA Thomas Jefferson Award

Pulse New York Announces List of International Exhibitors

Group Exhibition "Vertically Integrated Manufacturing" at Murray Guy

A Look at Architect Michael Arad's 9/11 Memorial Waterfalls

Early Works by Joel Shapiro on View at Paula Cooper Gallery

Gaudi and Dali in Catalonia: Even Teens are Wowed

LACMA Appoints Joshua S. Friedman and Steven F. Roth to Its Board

Columbia Museum of Art Sets Attendance Record on Final Day of Ansel Adams Exhibition

Cambridge Exhibition Drags Spies in From the Cold

Smithsonian Acquires Historic Food Coupons from USDA

Chilean Painter Carlos Catasse Dies

January 22, 2010

Cars by Warhol, Fleury, Longo, Szarek from the Chrysler Collection Opens at Albertina

A Cabinet of Curiosities: Selections from the Peter Tillou Collections at Christie's

New Paintings and Sculpture by Damien Hirst Announced at Gagosian

Moderna Museet Director, Lars Nittve, to Retire in October

Works by More than 70 Artists to be Auctioned for Charity at Gagosian

Exceptional Frank Lloyd Wright Archive to Highlight Bonhams Sale

Exhibit in Philadelphia Explores Legacy of Women in Pop

Artist Tony Fitzpatrick Holds Third Solo Exhibition at Pierogi

Two Video Works by Omer Fast on View at Postmasters Gallery

Indianapolis Museum of Art Announces 2009 Acquisitions

Friedrich Petzel Gallery Shows Interim in Three Rounds, Round 3

Peabody Essex Museum Appoints Anne Munsch as New CFO

Infamous (and Anonymous) Banksy's "Exit" to Premiere at Sundance

MCA Sydney Unveils New Series of Artist's Impressions of the New Building

New York Public Library Unveils Provocative Approach to Experiencing Voltaire's Candide

Special Installation Showcases Unique "Visual Language" Depicting Timeless Philosophical Messages

Vermont Man's Vintage Snowflake Photos for Sale in New York City

Georgia Art Museums Collaborate to Share Resources and Collections Across the State

Stolen Auschwitz Sign Returns to Museum

Dr. Ydessa Hendeles Makes AGO History with Contemporary Art Donation

January 21, 2010

Picasso and Renoir, Unseen for Over 40 Years, Go on Public Display at Christie's

Forty-Three Drawings by Swiss Architect Jean Tschumi Donated to MoMA

Matisse's Most Experimental Works to be Examined at the Art Institute of Chicago

PaceWildenstein Shows Group Exhibition of Most Significant Artists

Important Modern and Contemporary Prints at Leslie Sacks Fine Art

Galerie Ludorff Presents Important Paintings by Expressionist Emil Nolde

First Exhibition Ever Devoted to Bronzino at Metropolitan Museum

Pirate Klaus Stoertebeker's Skull Stolen from German Museum

Experts May Have Found Bones of English Princess Eadgyth

Getty Announces Debut of First Major Exhibition of Gérome in Nearly Forty Years

British Museum Announces Two Major Exhibitions for Spring 2010

2010 AIA Institute Honor Awards Excellence in Architecture

"Africa Now" Exhibition at Bonhams Wins Support from Alicia Keys Charity

Irish Museum of Modern Art to Open Secret, Intriguing and Experimental Exhibition

Barbican Announces Latest Commission for The Curve

Untraditional Research Collaboration on Sustainable Plastics at the National Gallery of Denmark

George Clarke to Host Awards Ceremony for Best New Buildings, Restorations and Public Spaces

Meijer Gardens Receives Second Calder Sculpture on Long-Term Loan

Study: Arts Industry Hits Worst Slump in Decade

North Dakota Heritage Center Project Getting $1.8M donation

January 20, 2010

Royal Academy of Arts Stages a Landmark Exhibition of the Work of Vincent van Gogh

Major Works by Klein, Doig, Kippenberger and Auerbach Lead Christie's Auction

Romare Bearden's The Block and Related Drawings On View at the Metropolitan

Major Works by Doig, Freud, Richter, Fontana and Ofili Lead Sotheby's Sale

Explosive Works by German Artist Martin Denker at Bruce Silverstein

Rediscovered Self-Portrait by Lucian Freud to be Sold at Sotheby's

Ernesto Neto's "Navedenga" on View for the First Time at MoMA

Prominent Dealers Bring Art World to Second Annual Dallas Art Fair

Christie's Strengthens Asia Management Lineup with New Appointments

Exhibition of Interactive Work by Artist Jeppe Hein Announced in Indianapolis

Solo Exhibition by New York-Based Artist Hugo Markl at Galerie Eva Presenhuber

Sotheby's to Offer the James S. Copley Library's Original Manuscripts

Fiona Banner will Create the Tate Britain Duveens Commission 2010

Alan Cristea Gallery Announces First Major Retrospective of Bauhaus Artist Anni Albers

Crystal Bridges Acquires New Work by Walton Ford

Fine English & Continental Furniture, Silver & Decorative Arts for Sale at Freeman's

MFAH Awarded Grant from NHPRC to Establish Electronic Records Archive

Marc Chagall's Illustrations for Gogol's "Dead Souls" on View at the Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Berlin Jewish Museum Gets Libeskind Extension

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Mystery over massive Alexander the Great-era tomb unearthed in northern Greece

2.- An ancient money box containing a large rare hoard of coins found in Israel

3.- Robin Williams' portrait installed today at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington

4.- The Baltimore Museum of Art announces three new contemporary exhibitions in fall

5.- New Aspen Art Museum designed by architect Shigeru Ban opens to the public

6.- New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art launches 82nd & Fifth app in 12 languages

7.- MoMA online-only publication features new research on Pablo Picasso and Cubism

8.- Volunteers needed for massive Smithsonian digitization project

9.- Tate Britain welcomes home John Everett Millais's Ophelia and Rossetti’s The Beloved

10.- Bogart estate: Hollywood golden age icon Lauren Bacall dead at 89 in New York

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