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Christie's launches online-exclusive auctions

Published:  26 June, 2012

Christie's is to launch Signature Cellars, its first global online-exclusive auction of fine and rare wines.

The move marks the next major step in the firm's market-leading global e-commerce strategy where all browsing and bidding for individual lots will be done online.

Signature Cellars will open for bidding on August 6 and run through to August 20, running alongside the company's traditional saleroom-based auctions.

The sale will bring together Old World and New World blue-chip wines, along with selections suitable for holding or enjoying now.

At the top end, collectors will find everything from Lafite 1982 to hard-to-source Californian cult wines such as Harlan Estate and Screaming Eagle.

There are also rarities for collectors looking to broaden their cellar; the total sale of 301 lots is estimated to achieve in excess of US$750,000.

The online-exclusive auctions will build on the recent success of the the collection of Elizabeth Taylor, which achieved US$9.5 million, far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of US$1 million, and an online-only charity auction of couture handbags by Hermès which tripled expectations, raising US$229,000.

Steven P Murphy, chief executive officer at Christie's International, said: "The success of these two pilots demonstrates our clients around the world are eagerly embracing online-only sales as a regular addition to Christie's calendar of traditional live auctions.

"Over the past year, we have made a significant commitment to building our e-commerce platform so that we may now support online-only sales on a broader level. With this new initiative, collectors will be able to experience the full theater of the online auction experience year-round through"

From July 9, wine collectors can browse online at