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July 23, 2012updated Feb 11, 2013

Signature Cellars: Christie’s Announces an Internet-Exclusive Wine Auction

By Pardhasaradhi Gonuguntla

New York, New York – Reported by Elite Traveler, the private jet lifestyle magazine

Christie’s, the world’s leading art business, announces the launch of its first online-exclusive sale for a global collecting category this summer with Signature Cellars, an auction of fine and rare wines. As the first sale in a planned series of online-only auctions that will run in parallel to the company’s traditional salesroom-based auctions, the launch marks the next major step in the firm’s market leading global e-commerce strategy. Signature Cellars will open for bidding on August 6 and run through August 20. All browsing and bidding for individual lots will be done completely online, with the click of a mouse.

Christie’s launch of globally accessible, online-exclusive auctions build on the success of two very successful pilot sales conducted last fall and earlier this spring. The online-only component of The Collection of Elizabeth Taylor totaled $9.5 million, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of $1 million. Similarly, the company’s recent online-only charity auction of couture handbags by Hermès tripled expectations, raising $229,000.

“The success of these two pilots demonstrates our clients around the world are eagerly embracing online-only sales as a regular addition to Christie’s calendar of traditional live auctions,” said Steven P. Murphy, CEO of Christie’s International. “Over the past year, we have made a significant commitment to building our e-commerce platform so that we may now support online-only sales on a broader level. With this new initiative, collectors will be able to experience the full theater of the online auction experience year-round through the website.”

As with all of Christie’s auctions of fine and rare wines, Signature Cellars brings together a closely curated mix of blue-chip wines from the old world and the new, along with reasonably priced selections suitable for holding or enjoying now. At the top end, collectors will find everything from the 1982 Lafite and Latour to the hard-to-source California cult wines from Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle. There are also great rarities that will inspire any serious collector looking to broaden their cellar, including magnums of fine champagne and imperials of bordeaux, beautifully aged port and a swath of much-loved bandol wines from Domaine Tempier. Estimates start as low as $200 and go as high as $35,000.

Beginning July 9, wine collectors can browse the sale’s 301 lots of fine and rare wines online when the e-catalogue for the sale goes live on their official website. Online bidding for all lots opens on August 6 and continues for two weeks. Clients will click to register their bids and receive updates throughout the two weeks on the progress of their desired lots. Bidding will close on August 20, with each lot awarded to the highest bid at closing time. All payment is by credit card, and bidding registration is open to all clients, anywhere in the world.

www.christies.com

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