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June 24, 2022 | ± 6 minutes
- A nightmare bear sold for £18,000
- A 1.5L bottle of Monkey Fizz® is available today for $2.5m
- Penisbone. Just scroll down, you’ll see
This week’s issue is being edited by Wyatt, so please forgive typos, errors, omissions, and penisbone jokes.
This year in Cultural assets
Like the rest of the market (everything is correlated right now), cultural asset are going sideways right now on fractional marketplaces.)
Last week in Cultural assets
Something went up! Music leads the way with a solid 1.3% advance over last week.
Sotheby’s “Important Judaica” was a collection of lots made up from Jewish cultural assets. It had a mixed day with a few of the highest value pieces not making their reserve, and others performing very well.
This Torah Case excelled:
An auction struggled at Bonhams this week selling fine British ceramics and glassware. However, sale highlights included this charming dish from 1787 and this remarkable engraved goblet from 1730-40, which reached £41,880.
In the last article, I told you that heritage auctions were selling Dmitry Muratov’s 2021 Nobel Peace Prize Medal to raise funds for the children of Ukraine.
At the time of writing, it had beaten its estimate with bids exceeding $500k. Well the final sale price smashed the estimate and made international news: raising a staggering $103.5m.
A rare teddy bear auction in Newbury at Special Auction Services also made it into the news. Like all collectible toys, these trade on nostalgia, and with each new generation the pool of potential buyers for these assets shrinks. I wouldn’t buy in from an investment point of view. Having said that, this Steiff (German for “stuffed nightmares”?) black mohair teddy exceeded its £5000-£8000 estimate, selling for £18,000.
The record price paid at auction for a Ford Capri was broken when a very rare prototype sold for £74,250 beating the previous record by £20,000.
There was a fairly successful sale at the sassy LAModerns auction “Art + Design” (The person who came up with the idea to use a “+” symbol coincidently thinks they are really good at design). The catalogue cover lot, a Porsche 356 speedster sculpted by Robert Morris, looked like it was going to fail when at the last minute some bids came in, settling, mid-estimate, at $300.000.
Last week Christie’s “Six Rings – Legacy of the GOAT” online auction ended. The term GOAT (Greatest Of All Time) is generally disliked by sports connoisseurs. I accept there is a debate when it comes to Michael Jordan (vs LeBron James) on the court, but there is no doubt when it comes to the trainers asset class and rare basketball cards: Jordan is the GOAT. This auction saw six lots (5 pairs of trainers and 1 card) all sell, but only one beat it’s top estimate. The two highest value pieces finished well below their bottom estimates.
The “Deflate Gate” football failed to sell at Lelands last week. At first I thought this was strange, since it’s a historic piece which would look at home in a museum. However, when reflected upon, it makes sense that it doesn’t have a large market. When viewed, Patriot fans will be reminded of their shame (and Colts fans will just feel angry).
This week in Cultural assets
‘89 Nintendo Game Boy (sealed)
- Market Cap: $22,500
- Inferred Value: $20,000
- Drop Details: 06/24/22 on Rally
- Our View: PASS
In Rally’s blurb about this drop, they claim there have only been three comparable sales since 2014. It’s true, because despite regular sales in the $2500-$6000 range of sealed copies, there aren’t many VGA-graded examples (though some are graded by other bodies).
I think two of the sales they are referring to are this and this, which also have the same VGA rating as the drop. They sold on consecutive days for $20k. I assume it was the same buyer and I wonder if the buyer already owns several and was trying to set a new precedent (or if they were both seller and buyer). The assumption by Rally, based on three sales (the third, I assume, is this with a VGA 90 which sold for $20,250) is that a VGA rating (rather than another condition certificate) quadruples the value of the asset.
So I’ve given this an inferred value of $20,000 (that’s what Rally paid for it) based on those comparable sales, but it could be all air and drop fast. There are loads of similar copies out there which haven’t been graded yet, available for $15,000 less. It makes me think $20,000 is the ceiling (and an optimistic one at that!) due to the small, easy-to-manipulate sample size for valuation.
Champagne entrepreneur Shammi Shinh has released on OpenSea an NFT deed to a unique bottle, decorated by BAYC artist Mig. The NFT can be bought for 2500 Eth (still available, at time of writing) and can then be held, traded or burnt in exchange for the physical champagne bottle. While this piece might be vulgar, and cynical, it’s not impossible that it could be traded many times over for eye-watering amounts before (if ever) it’s exchanged for the bottle (which itself could then become a wine x NFT asset).
We were also approached this week by a subscriber who’s selling an autographed copy of a ticket to Elvis Presley’s first concert. Price there is $2.15m
Which would you rather have? Make sure to have your say in our Twitter poll.
This week, I've seen two assets come up for sale in the $2m – 2.5m range.— Wyatt Cavalier (@itiswyatt) June 24, 2022
🎸🎟️ A PSA graded and signed copy of a ticket to Elvis's first concert ($2.15m), and
🐵🍾 A 1.5L bottle of Premier Cru BAYC champagne ($2.5m)
Which would you rather have?
Links and images of both below.
My favorite auction coming up this week is ‘A Contemporary Cabinet of Curiosities’ at Koller. It has many fine examples of Natural History, interstellar exploration and entertainment memorabilia (many fun ones like Samuel L. Jackson’s lightsaber, Daniel Radcliffe’s wand, and The Simpsons sketches). I’ll admit to – and have no shame for – wanting the Oosik Penis Bone Club, but a human skull is just too macabre for me.
Christie’s has a series of auctions coming up of rare and ancient cultural assets from all over the world, including an amazing auction of African and Oceanic art on 6/29/22. Containing beautiful museum quality pieces, which vary in valuation: top end estimates from €15,000 to €2,000,000.
Then on 7/6/22 they have a larger auction from Asia. I love this stunning ceramic which was made between 1736-1795. Landscapes like this ink-on-paper piece were a major influence on French Impressionism.
On the same day in London there is a more European-focused auction with many Roman and Athenian lots. (A bit of a theme has developed today, with many pieces falling into the category of “How has that survived so long and stayed in such good condition?”).
I’m lukewarm at best when it comes to art NFTs with no utility. Christie’s has an online auction closing next week made up of 27 lots from the biggest art NFT artist. Before the current crypto bear market, Refik Anadol seemed to be the person collectors were really excited about (particularly his live NFT installations). Generally speaking, at this moment, I’d avoid assets where the majority of their market’s capital is crypto based.
Julian’s has a self-described sports memorabilia online auction which ends on 6/28/22 (it’s mostly soccer, however this bizarre lot is reaching). My favourite lot is a poster for cult classic sports film “Escape From Victory” signed by Pele. However, the sale is mostly comprised of rare football shirts (match worn/signed or both). It’s quite an amazing selection with a vast amount of shirts from iconic players, across different eras, from a wide variation of club and international kits. There are also a few medals including this World Cup 86 winner, which would pair nicely with this Maradona shirt.
On 6/28/22 at Artcurial there is an auction of street art (and pop art on the street art spectrum). There are examples from the biggest international names, though the bulk of the auction is made up from European artists. There is large choice of invader pieces (lots 36–48)
One of the earliest (if not the earliest) examples of a clock made for domestic use, will go to auction on 6/30/22. This is a museum quality piece, which I doubt will go back to market any time soon.
Last but not least, our podcast
In this episode, Horacio spoke with Mark Montero, LCG Auctions’ founder & CEO. He talks about learning business fundamentals with baseball cards, emerging asset classes like graded VHS tapes, the value of long-standing franchises like Star Wars, and the future of the collectible toy industry.
That’s all for today’s Cultural Assets Insider. I hope you found it useful.
Until next time,