California-based Spectrum Wine Auctions is working with London luxury drinks merchant Vanquish to launch a UK auction business.
The partners, who are soliciting consignments of ‘the most rare and unique’ wines for their first sale, in February 2012, said they are hoping to shake up the staid London wine auction scene.
‘Anyone who’s been to a sale in New York or Hong Kong recently knows how different they are,’ said Richard Brierley, head of Vanquish‘s fine wine division – and ex-Christie’s North America wine chief.
‘Auctions should be lively, social occastions. London is well-established but lacks the buzz, the excitement of the full room. We want to bring that back.’
Jason Boland, president of Spectrum Wine Auctions, was attracted by London’s pedigree and importance to the secondary market, and its potential.
Brierley also said auctions would be held in non-traditional venues and at a more accessible time.
‘A private collector with a day job in the City may not find it ideal to wander down to a sale room in St James’s at 11am on a Thursday.’
Since launching in 2009, Spectrum Wine Auctions has grossed $30m (£19m) from internet sales and live ones in California and Hong Kong.
Written by Maggie Rosen