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Asia dominates Sotheby’s sale

Asian clients on Saturday dominated the first-ever Aulden Cellars/Sotheby’s wine auction held live on the Internet.

The auction, in New York, grossed US$2,032,376, far beyond the pre-sale low high estimate of US$1.1m.

Online bidders worldwide, watching and hearing the action, bid on 41% of the 1,217 lots offered and bought 17% of them.

Only 12 lots went unsold. The first 330 lots carried no reserve price. Though estimated to fetch US$270,000 to US$380,000, they yielded US$387,650.

The top five most-expensive lots were bought from Asia. Nine of the top 10 revenue-grossing lots were claimed by Asians.

This outcome ‘continues the trend seen in Hong Kong, London and New York this spring,’ Sotheby’s said.

A case of 1990 Le Pin, high-estimated at US$20,000 went for US $48,400.

Three double magnums of 1982 Lafite fetched US$36,300, more than twice the top estimate. Six bottles of Krug 1995 Clos d’Ambonnay Champagne fetched $27,225, more than twice the low estimate.

At the sale, Sotheby’s broke with tradition with a redesigned glossy catalogue that it bills as ‘more portable and environmentally conscious.’

The booklet, which will also come into play at London sales, is small and perfectly square, departing from the magazine-style catalogue used before.

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Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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