An unrestored Aston Martin used for the James Bond movie “Goldfinger” and left in a barn for years may sell for 50,000 pounds ($74,670) at auction.
The seller worked as a special-effects designer at Pinewood Studios in 1964, when the red DB4 was used to test the gadgets. The car was measured up for the machine guns, ejector seat and other extras for 007’s silver DB5. It has been garaged since 1974, said the London-based auction house Bonhams.
Bonhams’s May 22 sale at Aston Martin’s base in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire, will test demand for U.K. sports cars at a time when their French and Italian equivalents are fetching record prices.
“There’s definitely buying for investment,” said Dominic Walker, sales manager at the Hertfordshire-based specialist dealers, Chiltern Aston Centre. “I know of at least a dozen people in Europe with managed portfolios of classic cars. An Aston Martin is another asset to them.”
Wealthy individuals are looking to move their investments into physical objects such as art and cars because financial markets remain turbulent, dealers said.
Within the last few weeks, a 1930s Bugatti Type 57SC Atlantic and a 1960s Ferrari GTO were sold privately for sums close to their respective asking prices of $30 million and $20 million. Bonhams’s 11th annual Aston Martin auction will feature 47 cars and is expected to fetch as much as 5 million pounds. The equivalent event last year, also offering 47 Astons, raised 3 million pounds against a high estimate of 3.5 million pounds.
“It’s not that individual prices have gone up, we’ve just got better cars,” said Tim Schofield, head of Bonhams’s car department.
The most expensive is a 1950 DB2 Team Car that would have competed in the Le Mans 24-Hours race if it hadn’t crashed in France on the way to the circuit. The repaired car was raced in the early 1950s by drivers such as Stirling Moss, and is expected to fetch between 380,000 pounds and 440,000 pounds, said Bonhams. A DB2 Team racer that competed at Le Mans in 1950 sold for 550,000 pounds at RM Auctions in London in October.
“The one area that has seen some appreciation is Astons from the 1970s and 1980s,” said Schofield in an interview. “The macho styling of these cars is now more popular.”
A 1976 V8 Coupe incorporating components from cars used during the filming of the 1987 Bond movie “The Living Daylights” could fetch up to 60,000 pounds, said Bonhams.
Vintage wines formerly owned by Oswald Mosley, leader of Britain’s pre-World War II fascist party, were auctioned today in London.
The 10 bottles of Bordeaux and Burgundy were recently discovered by one of Mosley’s grandsons in Ireland, where the politician lived after the war, said Bonhams.
Mosley founded the British Union of Fascists in 1932 and died in France in 1980.
He liked Chateau Mouton Rothschild. At the sale itself, the Mouton proved the most popular, with over-estimate prices of 713 pounds and 598 pounds paid respectively for the bottles from 1953 and 1952. The respective high valuations were 260 pounds and 480 pounds. A further 414 pounds was paid for a bottle of Chateau Cheval Blanc from the 1952 vintage, while a trio dating from the years when Mosley was head of the BUF failed to sell.
A version of a painting that Banksy smuggled onto the walls of the Tate Gallery in 2003 is among 35 works in an exhibition in London that charts the development of street art over the last four decades.
The Bristol-born painter displayed a kitsch landscape overpainted with police incident tape, labeled “Crimewatch U.K. Has Ruined the Countryside for All of Us.” The painting was transferred to the Tate’s lost-property department and later claimed on Banksy’s behalf.
A second version of this landscape, also dating from 2003, is being shown by the Shoreditch-based gallery Black Rat Projects, together with pieces by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Shepard Fairey, Faile and Swoon. The show, which closes on May 20, is titled “Now’s the Time.”
“The Banksy landscape hasn’t been priced,” said gallery director Mike Snelle. “He’ll consider selling it if he gets an offer. If you like the painting you’ll have to prize it from him.”
Anyone thinking of making an offer should know that another doctored landscape by Banksy, dating from 2007, sold for $385,000 at Sotheby’s “Red” auction in New York in February, 2008, at the height of the market. Two years later, at Phillips de Pury & Co. in London, a 2001 Banksy landscape sold for 121,250 pounds.
Among the works with a price tag will be a 1981 Basquiat oilstick-on-paper drawing incorporating the artist’s favorite motifs of a skull, a crown and a heart surmounted by a cross.
The Basquiat, offered by London-based drawings specialist Stephen Ongpin, is priced at 280,000 pounds. Fairey’s 2006 spray paint and collage portrait of the U.S. civil rights activist Angela Davis has sold at 40,000 pounds.
More than 60 items from the world’s largest single-owner collection of memorabilia relating to rock band the Who will be offered at auction in London in June.
The material, to be sold at Christie’s International on June 24, is the first installment from the collection of the U.S. West Coast rock fan Brad Rodgers. It is expected to realize more than 100,000 pounds, said Christie’s.
Rodgers, a Who memorabilia collector since 1988, has entered a 1970 Gibson SG guitar played by Pete Townshend during the band’s 1971 U.S. tour. This is the most expensive piece in Christie’s rock and pop memorabilia sale at 20,000 pounds to 30,000 pounds. A 1970s Esso jumpsuit owned and worn by drummer Keith Moon has a low estimate of 1,000 pounds.
(Scott Reyburn writes about the art market for Bloomberg News. Opinions expressed are his own.)
To contact the writer on the story: Scott Reyburn in London at email@example.com.