Fresh from its most successful year, the Hart Davis Hart auction house is making plans to establish itself as a major player on the US auction scene.
Last year, Hart Davis Hart generated nearly US$14m (£7.1m) in six auctions, up from $9.5m in 2005, its first year. It is looking to further increase its presence.
The Chicago company, founded in 2004, will hold a 3 February sale that it hopes will fetch $3.5m to $5.2m (£1.7m-2.6m), which would surpass Chicago’s previous record of $3.4m, which it set in 2005.
One collection features a 20-vintage 240-bottle vertical of Lafleur and a vertical collection of Colgin 18-litre melchiors – one of only two such sets in existence.
Hart Davis Hart has also shifted its auctions to Tru, a top Chicago restaurant that has attracted national attention.
It has also hired Kevin Swersey, one of New York’s leading authorities on wine’s secondary market, as a consultant.
Swersey played a key role in establishing the Zachys-Christie’s relationship in 1994, the year commercial auctions began in Manhattan. Later he wasconsultant to Zachys’ independent auction business, helping create its joint auctions with Wally’s in Los Angeles.
Swersey will stay in Manhattan, where he remains co-president of the Connoisseur’s Advisory Group, a company that advises high net worth individuals on buying, handling and selling fine and rare wine and works of fine art.
Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York