HomeCategoryModern Collectables Archives - Arts & Collections

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James Mortimer’s work features in an exhibition at the James Freeman Gallery in Islington, London, opening Friday 8 February. Provocative new exhibition Land of Mortimer features mystical landscapes populated by naked figures and exotic beasts revelling in macabre scenarios. Among seemingly serene settings of soft blue and green landscapes, the viewer is confronted, upon closer examination, with the disturbing realisation that characters are drowning and mauling one another. The works in Land of Mortimer present...

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Personalisation may feel more commonplace than ever these days—everyone seems to have an embossed iPhone case or Goyard tote, and meddle with another’s Spotify or Netflix playlist at their own peril. Watches too, are now objects of self-expression, with engraved case backs now giving way to personalised internal bridges and mainplates. For the London-based high jewellery watchmaker Backes & Strauss, however, bespoke has always meant something more rarefied and unique. As the world’s oldest diamond...

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Celebrated British artist David Hockney has set a new auction record after Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures) (1972) sold for $90.3 million at Christie’s auction house in New York. After more than nine minutes of bidding, one of Hockney’s most iconic images set a new world record price for a living artist, helping Christie’s Post War and Contemporary Evening Sale to realise $357.6 million on 15 November. Applause is said to have...

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Luxury watch companies must adapt to changes in consumer behaviour or run the risk of becoming irrelevant—Arts & Collections investigates this lucrative industry. The concept of the wristwatch came into fruition during World War I; they were originally worn by soldiers as a convenient and practical way to time-keep. Since then, this horological device has reached a ubiquitous status. It has gradually morphed into a lavish accessory, admired not just for its capabilities in telling...

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Spirit connoisseurs have become enamoured with Japanese whisky in recent years. Merging traditional methodologies with native flavours, these varieties have taken on a personality of their own. It was once widely accepted that no whisky could measure up to the Scotch variety—after all, Scotland was the birthplace of the amber spirit. Nowadays, however, skilled Japanese producers are quashing such notions. Traditionally, Japan was known for its sublime sake and shōchū. Now, it is being heralded...

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An extremely rare bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 set a new world record when it was sold by Bonhams auctioneers on 3 October. The limited-edition 60-year-old lot fetched an eye-watering £848,750—it had been estimated at £700,000-900,000. Previous to this sale, the world record was set in May 2018 by Bonhams when another bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 1926 was sold for £814,081. Pop art labels Macallan commissioned two iconic pop artists—Valerio Adami...

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One of the world’s most sought-after luxury assets has seen a surge in second-hand sales in recent years. The luxury watch market is unique in terms of its investment opportunity: huge monetary returns are highly unlikely and expensive timepieces often depreciate in value. That’s not to say that an investment isn’t worthwhile, though. In April 2017, the Sotheby’s Watches auction in London achieved a stunning grand total of £2,258,000. The highest achiever of the night...

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One of the most exclusive handbags in the world, the Hermès Birkin bag has a fascinating story behind its chance creation. It’s the year 1983; Jean-Louis Dumas—the then-chairman of the luxury brand—is sitting next to singer and actress Jane Birkin on an Air France flight from Paris to London. Jane drops her diary, stating that she has yet to find a handbag that is stylish as well as able to hold all of her possessions....

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Art blockchain platform Maecenas today announced that Andy Warhol artwork 14 Small Electric Chairs (1980) will be the first on its platform to be tokenised. Cryptocurrency and art enthusiasts will be able to own fractional shares in the artwork by bidding at an auction on 20 June. The auction—which will be the world’s first cryptocurrency art sale—will be held in collaboration with Dadiani Syndicate, the first fine art gallery in the UK to accept cryptocurrency payments...

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Geared towards introducing new models and future trends within the watch and jewellery industries, Baselworld keeps its crown as the key event for timepiece aficionados.  Every year, exhibitors, affluent collectors, retailers and members of the press gather in the Swiss city of Basel to view and display the latest ware in the ever-growing watch industry. But Baselworld isn’t just another watch and jewellery show. Here, even the simplest entry-level pieces can cost thousands of pounds...

Unique in its broad international coverage of both arts and cultural events, Arts & Collections covers fine art from antiquity to modern times, auction records, a special sale preview by Sotheby’s, as well as market trends that inform collectors of the world’s finest items.

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