Bloomsbury Auctions took in $1.35m in its inaugural wine auction, held in New York on 19 June.
Known primarily for selling books, prints, magazines and other literary works, Bloomsbury has entered the secondary market for wine with money-back guarantees for authenticity and quality, the mechanics of which are being handled by New York-based fine wine merchant Sokolin.
It is also undercutting other wine salesrooms with a 17% buyer’s premium.
The sale attracted buyers from North America, Europe and Asia; over half of the bids were placed online.
While the overall sell-through rate was just 67%, the top seller – a 1982 Lafite Rothschild sixpack in its original wooden case – fetched $26,290 (including buyer’s premium), far exceeding the high estimate of $19,200.
Best sellers by lot were Bordeaux and Champagne – the latter by value as well.
Other top earners included 12 bottles of 1995 Petrus, which went for $13,145 and 12 bottles of 2003 Ausone, bought for $12,870.
Bloomsbury’s next wine auction is scheduled for October.
Written by Maggie Rosen