News 12-10

Making headlines in the world of art, antiques and collectibles are two updates on previously reported stories—the Wittelsbach diamond and MLK’s documents—the King of Pop’s iconic glove goes to auction, a Turner Prize winner gambles at the roulette wheel and a 200-year-old vase sets an auction record. Also: a list of the top-selling artists of 2008.

From CNN:
Diamond sells for recession-busting $24.3 M

The Wittelsbach diamond was sold Wednesday for $24.3 million, well over its presale estimate and breaking a world record for a price paid for a diamond at auction. International jeweler Laurence Graff was the lucky winner of the 35.56-carat diamond. The most recent world record set for a diamond was in 1995 when a 100-carat diamond went for $16.5 million.

From The New York Times:
Dr. King’s Documents Withdrawn From Auction

In another follow-up story, three documents once belonging to Martin Luther King Jr. that were to be sold at Sotheby’s on Thursday were inexplicably withdrawn from the sale on Wednesday. Sotheby’s gave no reason behind the withdrawal nor did Harry Belafonte, the owner of the documents. However, the King estate released a statement this week condemning the sale of the papers.

From The New York Times:
Michael Jackson’s Famous Glittery Glove for Sale

Perhaps the most famous glove in music history, Michael Jackson’s iconic silver one will be up for auction next April at Julien’s Auctions. The glove, which made its premiere in the 1983 music video for “Billie Jean,” will be part of the sale of more than 2,000 items belonging to the King of Pop. Jackson, 49, has suffered financially in recent years and recently sold his Neverland Ranch after he defaulted on it.

From The Guardian (UK):
Turner winner’s greatest gamble: 5,000 of his original works for free

In what some would call a terrific publicity stunt, Turner prize-winning artist Keith Tyson on Tuesday gave away 5,000 works of art to Guardian readers who visited his Web site. No stranger to publicity—Tyson made news winning more money when he bet on himself to win the Turner Prize in 2002 than he did as the winner—he will give away limited-edition prints from his History Paintings Series. The works feature 32 alternating stripes of red, black and green in random patterns, the colors of a roulette wheel. Appropriate because the pattern of stripes for each work depends on a server-generated sequence of 32 numbers—the number of spaces on a roulette wheel.

From Auction Central News:
Korean jar discovered during appraisal day sells for nearly $4.2 million

Another world record-breaker, this time for the price paid at auction for a jar. Tuesday saw the $4,184,000 sale of a rare Joseon Dynasty Korean blue-and-white porcelain jar at Bonhams & Butterfield’s in San Francisco. The vase, made around 1800, was discovered in August at a monthly appraisal event in Los Angeles and belonged to the Warren family of Los Angeles, via Boston.

From The
Top 10 contemporary artists in 2008

The has an interesting list of the top 10 highest-selling artists of the past year, headed by American Jeff Koons. In a sign of the times, five of the top 10 are contemporary Chinese artists and one is Japanese. Will the Chinese art wave continue to rule in 2009? Only time will tell.