Weekly News Roundup: February 8 to February 12

In art, antiques and collectibles news, we find a billionaire wine collector spending a lot in lawsuits, a publican’s clock selling high and an upswing in the art market.

From The Associated Press via SILive.com:
Billionaire Koch Expects More Fake-Wine Lawsuits in 2010

Let’s say you’re a billionaire entrepreneur who has such hobbies as winning the America’s Cup and collecting wine. Let’s say further that you think some of those wines that you spent $1 million on are fakes. What do you do? If you are William Koch, you sue the sellers. Then you sue some more. Then . . . until you’ve racked up $5 million on lawyers’ fees and ancillary costs. It’s the principal of the thing, apparently. He wants auction houses to clean up their acts. Koch is no stranger to suing. He and his two brothers did legal battle for 20 years.

From BBC News:
Rare pub clock sells at auction

The British Parliament slapped a tax on watches and clocks back in 1797. In response, the public stopped buying timepieces. In response to that, barkeeps hung what came to be known as George III Act of Parliament clocks in their establishments. They were hoping this marketing ploy would get people into the pub to see what time it was and who would then stay for a pint or three. Since the ill-advised act almost wiped out the clock industry, Parliament saw fit to repeal it quickly. Which explains the scarcity of George III Act of Parliament clocks and why one recently sold at auction for more than $13,500. Let’s drink to that.

From The New Zealand Herald:
Walking Man kick-starts art market

With the record-shattering sale of Alberto Giacometti’s sculpture, “L’Homme Qui Marche I,” recently for $149 million, experts are predicting that happy days are returning to the art world. To confirm that, sales last week at Sotheby’s and Christie’s did better than expected with buyers clamoring for pieces.

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