Skinner Inc., a major East Coast auction house specializing in antiques and fine art, has announced it will conduct its first wine auction on Friday, Sept. 14, at their Boston Gallery (63 Park Plaza in Boston). All told, some 200 lots conservatively estimated at $250,000 will go on the block.
Highlights include a collection of more than 350 bottles from the private cellar of the former owners of the celebrated Maison Robert restaurant in Boston, which closed in 2003. From another source comes a magnum of Château Lafite Rothschild 1959 estimated at $6,000 to $8,000 (the current Wine Spectator Auction Index average for the wine is $7,636), as well as a bottle of Château Léoville-las-Cases 1985 estimated at $125 to $175 (the index average is $179).
This new venture places Skinner as the sole auction house in New England to offer wine at auction. "Until now, a lot of fine wine consignments have moved down to New York from Boston," explained Marie Keep, 39, the new head of Skinner's wine department. "In New York, they are small fish in a big pond. I'm trying to stem that tide. We can offer more services. We can devote more space in the catalog to a collection and highlight and promote our clients' wines in an effective manner. We intend to be very agile in responding to an inquiry. I can be inspecting a client's cellar the very next day. Our sales will be open to collectors worldwide. It's a fresh and exciting undertaking."
To bring wine to market, Skinner will work in close collaboration with Lower Falls Wine Co., a third-generation, family-owned wine business based in Newton, Mass. Like several competing auction firms, Skinner will be levying a 19.5 percent buyer's premium. However, Massachusetts levies no sales tax on wine and spirits. For information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or Marie Keep (617) 350-5400, ext. 311.
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