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World record for the oldest known and only surviving Japanese clock-driven celestial sphere in the world
Ten months ago, the specialists at Piguet Auction House discovered a celestial globe in the Givaudan collection.


GENEVA.- Piguet Auction House ended its December sales last night with a global result of CHF 5.5 million. The highlight from the week-long auction was the sale of a major discovery in the history of science in Eastern Asia. The oldest Japanese celestial sphere known in the world driven by a clock mechanism reached an astronomical sale price of CHF 912,000 to the applause of all the observers in the room (lot 708), achieving a world record in the process. The Watches and Jewellery sales were very popular among collectors at the Genevan auction house selling for a grand total of CHF 1.9 million. The collection of Fine Wines sold on Monday evening was also met with great success totalling CHF 343,900 proving to be the best Wines sale result to date. Bernard Piguet, Director and Chief Auctioneer at Piguet Auction House, exclaims after the sale of lot 708: “This result is the culmination of 10 months of in-depth research by our specialists collaborating with the biggest world-renown experts in this field. We are honoured by the trust the owners placed in us and delighted our efforts were recognised by the buyers”.

World record price
Ten months ago, the specialists at Piguet Auction House discovered a celestial globe in the Givaudan collection. This object intrigued Piguet’s specialists and incited a certain curiosity and fascination. Further research lead to a collaboration with the very limited number of world experts in this field which allowed them to date the sphere to the first half of the 17th century originating from Japan. Early indications of its origin included the axis and latitude of the terrestrial box inside, the rising and setting of the sun which corresponded with Edo (original name for the city of Tokyo) and the world map. The full report by Professor Christopher Cullen[1], the undisputed world expert in this field, spans over 100 pages and is backed up by a metallurgical report. It confirms that the sphere is a major discovery in the History of Science in Eastern Asia, being the oldest known and only surviving Japanese clock-driven celestial sphere in the world.

International clients gathered in the room and waited poised on the telephones to bid on this unique museum piece, a fine example of horological techniques imported from the western world and high quality Japanese craftsmanship in the first half of the 17th century. After an 11-minute long battle on the telephones which left the room captivated in total silence, a Hong Kong-based buyer bought the sphere for a world record price of CHF 912,000 (lot 708 estimated at CHF 100,000-150,000).

Record sale for the Fine Wines
The auction presenting the specialist category of Fine Wines saw the best results yet for Piguet reaching CHF 343,900 with 96% of lots being sold. The first five classifications of claret Bordeaux wines sold extremely well, in particular the cherished 1982 vintage of which 5 bottles of Lafite-Rothschild went for CHF 10,900 (lot 142). The ensemble of Pétrus also met with great success selling altogether for CHF 50,000.

Watches and Fine Jewellery
The enthusiasm from collectors surrounding the Fine Jewellery and Watches was witnessed on a large scale as clients were plentiful in the saleroom until 23:00 when the sale finally ended with a result of CHF 1.9 million. This sale was the final Watches and Fine Jewellery auction of 2017 which brings this year’s total sale result for Piguet Auction House’s Watches and Jewellery department to an impressive CHF 6.5 million.





Today's News

December 16, 2017

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United States returns to Lebanon relics stolen during civil war

Jade and gold burial suit, finest to survive ancient China, featured in Nelson-Atkins exhibition

National Air and Space Museum releases "VR Hangar" app

Infamous lock in US Watergate political scandal sells for $62,500

Art Institute receives outstanding endowment gift from Ruttenberg family

ARKEN invites visitors to step inside Ugo Rondinone's dreamscape inhabited by 45 lifelike clowns

Dee Dee Ramone Fender Precision Bass sells for more than $35,000

Trove of works on paper by sculptor Henry Moore joins The Huntington's collections

Ulterior Gallery opens a solo exhibition by the late Japanese artist Yasuo Ihara

World record for the oldest known and only surviving Japanese clock-driven celestial sphere in the world

Rebekah Beaulieu appointed Director of the Florence Griswold Museum

BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art displays a selection of recent paintings by Sofia Stevi

Claude Lalanne's record "Crocodile" bureau tops Sotheby's $26.4 million Design Auctions in New York

Artworks and personal effects from the estate of artist John Douglas Patrick will be sold online Jan. 15

Stedelijk Museum announces first exhibition of graphic designer Wim Crouwel in Japan

Gerard Byrne presents a new video installation at Kerlin Gallery

'Jewels of Time: Watches from the Proctor Collection' opens in Utica

New Orleans Museum of Art to break ground on six-acre expansion of sculpture garden

New exhibition series highlights global context of American portraiture

Weinstein Gallery celebrates 25th anniversary with the West Coast premiere of film by Oskar Fischinger

RM Sotheby's reports $526 million in global auction sales in 2017

Throckmorton Fine Art opens exhibition of photographs by Brazilian photographer Valdir Cruz

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