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Christie's first online-exclusive wine sale totals $819,715
Château Lafite-Rothschild--Vintage 1982. 1 dozen bottles per lot. Estimate: $35,000 - 45,000. Price realized: $42,350. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd 2012.
NEW YORK, NY.- Signature Cellars, Christie’s first online-exclusive sale of Fine & Rare Wines totaled $819,715 (£524,618/€663,969) selling 88% by lot. The top lot of the sale was a dozen bottles of 1982 Château Lafite-Rothschild, which sold for $42,350 to an Asian private collector.

The two-week timed auction, in which all browsing and bidding for lots was done completely online, was the first in a planned series of online-only auctions that will run in parallel to Christie’s calendar of live saleroom-based auctions. After completing two successful online-only sale pilots with The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor and a spring charity auction of couture handbags by Hermès, Christie’s announced in June that it would launch Signature Cellars as the next step in the firm’s market-leading global e-commerce strategy.

“We are delighted with the wine-buying community’s response to this new auction model. More than 25 percent of registrants in this sale were completely new to Christie’s, which indicates that wine collectors around the world appreciate both the accessibility of the online-only sales model and the assurance of Christie's near 250-year history as an auction leader,” said Steven P. Murphy, Chief Executive Officer. “E-commerce is a key part of our growth strategy as a company, and we look forward to expanding this exciting new model even further this fall, as we add more collecting categories to our online-only auction calendar.”

As with all of Christie’s auctions of fine and rare wines, Signature Cellars brought together a closely curated mix of blue-chip wines from the old world and the new, along with approachably priced selections suitable for holding or enjoying now. The sale drew over 440 registrants from around the world to bid in the sale, with bids reaching a frenzied pace on the final day of the sale as collectors received instant alerts by email or phone when any other competitor bid above them.

“The final hours of the sale were very exciting, as bidders around the world logged on to defend their chosen lots. As a result, we saw strong prices throughout the sale, especially for difficult-to-source cult favorites like Domaine Tempier, Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate,” noted Per Holmberg, Head of Wine at Christie’s New York.

The next installment of Christie’s Signature Cellars series of online-exclusive wine sales will open for bidding on October 16. A complete list of wines will be announced in the coming weeks at www.christies.com. All payment is by credit card, and bidding registration is open to all clients, anywhere in the world.

Digital Innovation at Christie’s
As a 246–year old company, Christie’s has proven itself adept at embracing innovation while preserving its core business model. In July 2006, Christie’s was the first international auction house to give clients worldwide access to bidding in its saleroom over the Internet, via Christie’s LIVE™; by 2007 the system was available across all Christie’s salerooms worldwide. Since then, Christie’s has continued to invest in digital assets, leading to the redesign of Christies.com in April 2008, the launch of Christie’s iPhone and iPad apps in 2009 and 2010, and the introduction of our first online-only auction in 2011.



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