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Hart Davis Hart sells all lots

In a rare development in wine auctions, Hart Davis Hart has sold 100 percent of its catalogue for the second straight time.

On 2 June, the house sold all 626 lots for US$2,325,877 (including the 19.5%buyer’s premium) on 2 June.

On 4-5 May, establishing a record for a Chicago auction, Hart disposed of all 1,876 lots from the cellar of the late collector Steven Verlin for US$7,127,613. Verlin, a New Jersey resident, was a founder of Veritas, a major wine-oriented Manhattan restaurant.

Back-to-back sellouts are ‘something I’ve never known to happen in my 27-year career in the field of wine auctions,’ vice chairman Michael Davis told decanter.com. It was not clear if taken together they set a record.

He attributed the dual outcome partly to ‘the unprecedented demand for fine wine.’

Hart Davis Hart’s outreach, perhaps fed by aggressive internet advertising, has apparently made it the Midwest’s leading auction power since its founding in 2004. It is also in the retail and storage businesses.

On 2 June, a jeroboam of 1971 La Tâche, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, fetched US$33,460. Six bottles of 1997 Romanée-Conti, DRC, fetched US$28,680. Twelve bottles of 1982 Lafite-Rothschild reached US$26,290. A case of 2000 Ausone reached US$20,705.

Written by Howard G Goldberg in New York

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