Aston Martin in Barn With Mouse Nest May Fetch $300,000
An Aston Martin DB5 discovered after three decades in an old garage with a mouse nest in its engine bay is estimated to sell for $300,000.
The mice had moved out of the sports saloon before its cylinders were re-lubricated and it restarted without difficulty, if noisily, the seller Bonhams said. The nest made of shredded newspaper is in place and included in the price. The cost of restoring the car is put at another $300,000.
So called “barn finds” -- cars in untouched condition -- are highly prized by collectors in a selective market for classic models that puts a premium on originality.
“The DB5 is one of the models that has led value increases in the classic-car market,” Neil Dickens, co-director of the Wiltshire-based dealership the Hairpin Company, said in an interview. “The market for this marque is as strong as you could hope for, with the possible exception of Ferrari.”
Bonhams has a formal estimate of 150,000 pounds ($237,000) to 200,000 pounds for the blue DB5, which is included in its 14th annual auction on May 18 at the U.K. automaker’s factory in Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire.
The DB5’s design was made famous by Sean Connery in “Goldfinger” and other James Bond movies. This 1964 example was bought in 1972 for 1,500 pounds by David Ettridge, an Aston Martin Owners Club member, who drove it until 1980. Ettridge died in 2011. Bonhams said the car, which had been stored in Sidmouth, Devon, western England, was perfectly preserved, while needing restoration costing about 200,000 pounds.
“This allows wealthy car owners to choose how they want it to be done,” James Knight, Bonhams’s head of motoring, said in an interview. “The bespoke element is attractive. It’s like ordering a Savile Row suit.”
Last year’s Aston Martin and Lagonda auction in Newport Pagnell raised 6.5 million pounds with fees from 46 cars and 162 lots of memorabilia.
Two of the contemporary art world’s best-known collectors are to open a large London exhibition space that may rival Charles Saatchi’s gallery.
Frank Cohen and Nicolai Frahm have taken over a warehouse in Wakefield Street, Bloomsbury, formerly a milk depot occupied by Express Dairies. The building, converted by the Scottish architect Jenny Jones, will reopen as a non-profit gallery in April, said a statement issued on behalf of the collectors.
The 12,500 square-foot (1,161 square meter) Dairy joins similar galleries in the U.K. capital established by private collectors such as Saatchi, Poju and Anita Zabludowicz, and David Roberts.
Manchester-born Cohen, founder of the Glyn Webb Ltd. Chain of home-improvement stores, is known as the “Saatchi of the North.” He opened a foundation devoted to younger artists, Initial Access, in Wolverhampton, in 2007.
Frahm, a London-based Dane, collects postwar European abstraction and U.S and Asian art from the 1970s up to the present day.
The two collectors have been working closely with each other for the last 15 years. Exhibitions at the Dairy will include works from their collections, as well as external loans.
“Our concept is to show a variety,” Frahm said in an e- mail. “We’ll have emerging and established artists together with artists from the past who we feel should be reconsidered.”
The inaugural show will focus on the Swiss artist John Armleder, best remembered for his involvement in the avant-garde Fluxus movement of the 1960s and 1970s.
The London-based Fine Art Fund has established a subsidiary in the Middle East to “attract enormous stores of liquid wealth looking for portfolio diversification.”
The Fine Art Middle East Trading LLC, headed by a former U.K. culture minister Lord Gowrie (Grey Gowrie), opened in Dubai on Jan. 28, the company said in a statement.
About 40 art funds were started in the U.S. and Europe during the financial-market boom of 2005 to 2007, according to Skate’s Art Market Research. Since the crisis, the London-based Fine Art Fund, started in 2004, is the only one of these vehicles that has remained conspicuously active in the West.
It has about $200 million under management after originally planning to raise as much as $350 million. Many rich people continue to be wary of investing in closed-end art funds, preferring to use advisers to create their own collections.
This tendency is reflected in the title of the Fine Art Fund’s new entity, Philip Hoffman, the group’s chief executive, said in an interview.
“Middle East clients don’t like locking their money up for 10 years,” Hoffman said. “They prefer shorter-term investment with single-owner control. In Dubai we’ll be concentrating on art advisory.”
Demand for works by local artists has cooled following the political unrest in the region, he said.
Christie’s International’s Dubai salesroom raised just 6.7 million pounds in 2012, a 42 percent decline from the previous year, the London-based auction house said when it published its annual figures on Jan. 17.
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