Celebrations All Around?
Another major blow was dealt to opponents of the ivory ban when Sotheby's abandoned a planned sale of Rhino horns. A controversial topic, there has been a public outcry from a global community of activists who seek to end the sale of ivory, a major cause of their dwindling numbers.
In other news, a rare Rolex sold in an auction along with $14m worth of enviable timepieces. Finally, personal belongings of Hugh Hefner, the founder of Playboy magazine, are heading into an auction which features an array of iconic pieces.
Rhino Sale Ban
When the UK Government chose to ban the sale of ivory, it was met with widespread approval and also condemnation.
As the news spread through the different channels, the auction world was split into two camps with some against the ban and others in favour. However, a major blow has been dealt with those wishing to keep ivory in their catalogues as Bonhams, Christie's and now Sotheby's has withdrawn the sale of ivory from their upcoming auctions.
This news was met with wide praise of activists such as Two Million Tusks, IFAW and WWF who we partnered with to announce our own ban on the sale of Ivory in our auctions. You can read more about here: The Elephant in the room.
Hugh Hefner Memorabilia Auction
There aren't many stories like Hugh Hefner. After securing a $10,000 loan, he released Playboy Magazine the world in 1953.
Apprehensive about a second issue being a reality, it's said that the date wasn't put on the first issue. These fears were somewhat destroyed after the first copy sold over 50,000 copies!
It was probably helped by the fact a nude picture of global icon Marilyn Monroe was on the front cover!
From then, Hugh Hefner went from strength to strength and solidified his reputation with The Playboy Mansion. Living there until his death in 2017, it became synonymous with the man and magazine.
An extensive collection of his items is heading to the auction block. Over the two day sale, bidders will be able to win personal items such as his smoking pipe, captain's hat, jackets and pyjamas.
Other items include instruments, books, pianos, typewriters, jukeboxes and more. All proceeds will benefit the Hugh Hefner Foundation.
$14m Geneva Watch Auction
Switzerland, considered the watchmaking capital of the world, was the scene of a huge auction when $14m worth of watches were sold!
Included in this auction was a rare timepiece called the 'John Player Special' Rolex Paul Newman Daytona. In our article: Rolex Watches That Broke Records, we mentioned how collectors will consider the condition, provenance and rarity of a watch before deciding if it's worth investing in.
The John Player Special Rolex is said to be between 300 and 400 examples made in yellow gold, so this ticks off the rarity aspect.
In addition to this, the nickname refers to the cigarette brand John Player and the Lotus F1 team who shared similar black and gold liveries in the '70s. At this time, Lotus was enjoying one of the most successful periods in their motorsport history.
Starting with a reserve of $350,000, the watch went for double that and hammered in for $779,580!
These stories have created a lot of questions regarding the future of their respective industries.
What does the future hold for ivory? The decisions made by major auction houses will have a massive impact on the way that it circulates the market and with the law still going through Parliament, it's already having the desired effect.
With regards to watchmaking, in 2017, the global Swiss Watch industry alone was $21.4bn! We are awaiting figures for 2018 but from the record sales achieved in auctions for various watch brands, the market seems it will keep pace with 2017 or perhaps surpass it?
Finally, Hugh Hefner's legacy will extend beyond Playboy when winning bidders take away a piece of his personal memorabilia.
I suppose the casket which is said to contain various 'tapes' and at the bottom of an unknown ocean won't be one of them!
What was your favourite story? Hit the share button and let us know!