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Chelsea Hotel Manager Stanley Bard’s Art Collection Goes to Auction

Stanley Bard, the longtime part-owner and manager of Manhattan’s legendary Chelsea Hotel, has made a name for being a connoisseur of fine art. Throughout his career he has helped many struggling artists—among them Leonard Cohen, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns—to live and work in his hotel for little compensation. As a result, he managed to amass one of the most striking collections that capture the creative spirit of the 21st century.

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Tom Wesselmann’s “Study for Blue Nude”

Following his recent passing, the exclusive collection, which features works from Tom Wesselman, Karel Appel, and Christo will hit the auction block in May. Many of the pieces speak not only to the history of the now-closed Chelsea Hotel, but to a bygone era of one of New York’s most culturally-rich periods. Most pieces are a testament to Bard’s influence on the artists as with Tom Wesselmann’s Face #1, for instance, featuring the note “For Stanley—With Affection—Tom Wesselmann” on its back. The piece is expected to fetch up to $800,000. Handled by Freeman’s, the auction will handle works from some of the greatest artists of this century.

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Tom Wesselmann’s “Face #1” 

Slots for the auction will become available at the beginning of May and buyers better hurry up if they want to snap iconic pieces like Philip Taaffe “Untitled”, Larry Rivers “Art and the Artist Portrait and Painting of Arshile Gorky and Christo’s “The Mastaba of Abu Dhabi” – valued at hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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Larry Rivers “Art and the Artist Portrait and Painting of Arshile Gorky”

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The most desirable Gems from Spring’s Upcoming Jewelry Auctions

Spring season has officially begun with extraordinary pieces exhibited by auction houses from New York and London and there are quite a few gorgeous gems that are worth your time and money.

First on the radar is renowned dealer Sotheby’s and its Fine Jewels exhibition in London that will take place on March 22nd. More than 280 distinctive and memorable jewels will be auctioned, including a spectacular brooch, expected to fetch between $29,000 and $39,000. Designed by innovative French designer Pierre Sterlé, it is styled to resemble a bird with a cabochon aquamarine body surrounded by circular-cut sapphires and brilliant-cut diamonds. Other memorable pieces include vibrant rings and bracelets from Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, and other reputable Maisons.

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In April the Magnificent Jewels auction is heading to New York, where the standout piece will be a spectacular 34-carat emerald ring by Harry Winston called the Stotesbury Emerald (expected to sell for $800,000 to $1.2 million). The unique object d’art once belonged to American socialite and jewelry enthusiast, Eva Stotesbury.

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Another entrancing art deco–inspired piece is a clip centered around a rare, unheated Burmese ruby (valued at $300,000 to $400,000) that will be the headlining piece of the London auction house’s spring sale. Diamond lovers can bid on the classic rivière collar necklace ($200,000 to $300,000). As part of a private collection, it consists of 63 round brilliant-cut diamonds totalling nearly 44 carats.

A highly anticipated offering from Christie’s at the Magnificent Jewels action in New York is a pair of contrasting pink-and-blue sapphire earrings ($40,000 to $60,000) by the world-renowned and elusive French jewelry designer Joel Arthur Rosenthal (JAR). The daringly mismatched duo reflects the current trend of bold statement earrings. Bvlgari will also be represented with a massive 48-carat sapphire and diamond ring ($500,000 to $700,000).

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Christie’s New Multipurpose Masterpiece in Beverly Hills

A new Lox Angeles complex in Southern California will give discerning collectors a new point of purchase from reputable auction house Christie’s when it opens in April. Located over two stories, the 5,400-square-foot facility is planned on North Camden Drive in Beverly Hills and will provide the same cross-section of services the auction house is known for.

From exclusive art to unique collectibles – the convenient location for clients will fit well in the upscale community.  Wealthy buyers will be able to stop by for a selection of luxury offerings of watches, jewelry, wine, and handbags. The site will cater to individual customers and those representing institutions (such as museums) thanks to a skilled in-house appraisal and investment team. Private offices for consultations, a vault-like room for presenting exquisite jewels and other one-of-a-kind pieces, and extensive exhibition space are planned in the design. The second floor also features a 1,400-square-foot entertainment venue with an outdoor patio. Interactive live-streams from Christie’s sales taking place elsewhere will tie the whole place together.

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Beverly Hills is the logical choice for Christie’s new haven for wealthy buyers as it complements its current California locations in Century City and San Francisco. The auction house, headquartered in London, has been a premier conduit for the finest artistry and craftsmanship since founded by James Christie in 1766.

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An exclusive Collection Honoring Johannes Kepler From Montblanc

Montblanc’s Maison Artisan Atelier in Hamburg, Germany, has flirted with high-end writing instrument designs latterly. Some of the newly-released pieces are priced in excess of $1 million and exhibit intricate motifs centered on serpents and notable figures like Marco Polo – flamboyant enough to capture the eye of wealthy connoisseurs.

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The artisan’s newest collection was designed to honour the mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer Johannes Kepler and his contribution of the three laws of planetary motion. The aptly named High Artistry Homage to Johannes Kepler Limited Edition collection consists of three limited edition designs and one unique piece. Prices, understandably, are astronomically high with the Stella Nova Limited Edition 1 announced at $1.5 million. The one-of-a-kind piece is adorned with 570 diamonds and 5,294 sapphires arranged to evoke the Milky Way in the night sky. An opulent 6.2-carat Montblanc-cut diamond rests on the pen’s cap and is surrounded by three diamond-set rings representing, once again, Kepler’s three laws. The pen is accompanied by a pair of cufflinks shaped like the scientist’s model of the solar system for a complete look.

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The exclusivity of the collection is highlighted throughout – its base model, the Johannes Kepler High Pede Serpentari Limited Edition 39 (priced at $48,130), is restricted to just 39 examples worldwide. The Johannes Kepler High Artistry Astronomia Nova Limited Edition 9 (priced at $140,000), is limited to nine pieces and presents a representation of Ophiuchus and Sagittarius on its barrel.

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 Another flamboyant offering is the Johannes Kepler High Artistry Somnium Limited Edition 5 ($513,000 to $556,000, depending on colour choice) in the form of a fully functional moon-phase indicator on the cap and a special rewinder housed within the pen’s wooden display box.

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The Ultimate Gift – The World’s Largest Flawless Heart-Shape Diamond

One lucky girl would get the ultimate gift that will make both Valentine’s Day and diamond history. That is, if her partner can afford to spend over $20 million on Graff’s heart-shaped, D-class, flawless diamond named in celebration of the Roman goddess of Love.

The Graff Venus is the largest D Flawless heart shape diamond in the world, and comes from a 357-carat rough stone found at the Letseng mine in Lesotho in 2015. It was sold by Gem Diamonds for $19.3 million to an undisclosed buyer in September that year, which means that its price as a symmetrical and perfectly polished stone will be, at least, twice as much. The exceptionally demanding Graff Venus is a magnificent type IIa 118.78ct diamond that goes beyond words, and will surely be the object of desire of many high-class women, celebrities and socialites.

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18 months of analysis, cutting and polishing were invested in the transformation of the rough 357-carat stone to get a record-breaking heart-shaped diamond of immaculate quality and proportions. The GIA certificate revealed the highest grading that any stone can achieve for the Graff Venus: D Colour, Flawless, and Type IIA with Excellent Polish, Excellent Symmetry, and No Fluorescence. This gives the exclusive stone a mesmerizing effect and unparalleled value.

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The world’s largest perfect heart-shape stone, The Graff Venus is arguably the most breath-taking in the contemporary series of record-breaking diamonds.

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Four Single Malts from Scotland

Whiskey experts have always wanted to bottle the essence of Scotland – the inspiration behind the launch from Golden Decanters. The new collection consists of cask-strength whiskies that epitomize the sublime combination of age and beauty. Each of the four major distilling regions of Scotland is represented in one of the single malt whiskeys. The Highlands – with a 19-year-old Ben Nevis, which is a vibrant blend of wood, spice, and fruit. The Lowlands – with a 22-year-old Auchentoshan, which is deep, rich, and surprisingly full-bodied. Islay is represented by a 26-year-old Bowmore, which is a deceptively sweet single malt with a dry, elegant smokiness midpalate. And Speyside’s offers a 34-year-old Glenlivet that highlights the brand’s delicate sweetness without any overly woody notes—a surprise considering its age.

Each of the four bottles is delicately etched by Glencairn Crystal with a scene of Scotland’s finest pursuits —golf, hunting, fishing, and Highland cattle. The design itself is replicated on the handcrafted American oak boxes in which the bottles are housed. 180 numbered sets were created, of which more than 40 have already been sold since the launch in October. The four whiskies are sold as a set, for about $9,161. Golden Decanters has already announced a second release, with more to come, including a possible U.S. exclusive.

A pleasant pastime for wealthy buyers would be the guided distillery tours that the company offers to its customers who make their way to Scotland. An even more immersive experience is available over the course of two weeks to take in all of Scotland’s castles, fine restaurants, and distilleries. The Golden Decanters whiskies are included in the excursion package, the price of which is available on request.

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The Most Expensive American Whiskey

In 2013 when Michter’s released its Celebration Sour Mash whiskey at $4,000 per bottle, it was an exquisite experience to obtain one of the 273 bottles available. Now, there is an even pricier whiskey that spirit connoisseurs can appreciate. The second batch of the palatable liquid is the 2016 Michter’s Celebration Sour Mash. Put together by Willie Pratt before he retired, the new blend retails at $5,000 for a bottle—a bit pricier than its predecessor. There are only 256 bottles released worldwide, making it a rare treat.

As Joseph Magliocco, Michter’s president, puts it – this is far more than another whiskey for the luxury market. “With Celebration,” he says, “we wanted to make an American whiskey that’s as good as anything being made anywhere else in the world. And I think we’ve succeeded.” For this reason an entirely new blend of six different Kentucky straight bourbons and ryes, aged from 10 to almost 33 years, was created. It was then bottled at cask strength, 58.4 percent alcohol by volume. The result has the texture of bourbon, with rich caramel, vanilla, and honey notes, but evolves like a rye, dry and spicy, with lots of oak on the long, dry finish. Michter’s trademark big, powerful flavor profile is also there, but the combination of the whiskeys in the blend make it resonate even deeper on the palate, with greater complexity.

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The packaging of the new blend is similar to the 2013 Celebration. An elegant red wood-and-leather box contains the bottle; the 18-karat gold on both the stopper and the label was applied in France. There is a drawer beneath the bottle with a wax-sealed envelope with a letter signed by Willie Pratt for a personal touch.

To find out more about the world’s most luxurious drinks check out some of our previous posts such as World’s most expensive beverages – part 1, World’s most expensive beverages – part 2 and The best whiskeys to drink this summer.

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Exclusive Reservations You Need in Vegas

Las Vegas is one of those ‘must-see’ destinations that every wealthy traveller has on his list. But a stay at Sin City can turn into a truly memorable experience with a few exclusive reservations that open doors to some of the most prestigious clubs, shows, restaurants and after parties the city has to offer.

MGM Grand Buffet Dining Room

Starting with Carbone – the only place that truly epitomizes the spirit of fine Italian American dining, with tuxedoed waiters and genuine garlic bread croutons. The second outpost of the cult restaurant from Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi has a lot to offer its guests – from the signature favorites, like spicy rigatoni vodka to private dining, and succulent dishes like a lasagna layered with delicate egg crêpes and black truffles – gourmet lovers would be wise not to skip this venue.

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Things don’t get any more American than Joël Robuchon:’s original Mansion at the MGM Grand. And since everything is bigger and better in Vegas – multi-Michelin-starred restaurant offers an over-the-top 16-course prix fixe menu that has everything from foie gras to potato carpaccio covered with black truffles. All this comes at a cost, of course as this is the priciest restaurant in America, at $425 for a meal for two, not including tax and tip.

When it comes to sushi – nothing tops Kabuto Sushi, which is a pilgrimage spot for lovers of the Japanese cuisine. At $48, the 10-piece nigiri sushi omakase is a real treat.

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After a proper meal Vegas-style, it’s time to party with some of the hottest DJs on the music scene. You can catch them at XS – one of the most expensive nightclubs ever built: with plenty of gold everywhere, a crowded dance floor, and an outdoor pool area.

Ivanka Trump's art collection

Ivanka Trump’s art collection

Ivanka Trump’s apartment, which is a frequent topic of discussion in magazines, is the epitome of refined contemporary taste. It is the place, where vintage accents meet funky light fixture by contemporary designers and plenty of custom-made furniture for an overall aesthetic of low-key affluence.

However, the true worth of Ivanka’s real estate haven lies in the works of art that hang on the walls. From a Dan Colen “chewing gum” painting, valued work sold for $578,500 at Phillips New York in 2012. Another impressive piece is a “bullet hole” silkscreen by Nate Lowman – a similar one sold for $665,000 in 2013 at Sotheby’s in New York. Ivanka’s dining room is accentuated by a painting by well-known painter Alex Israel. A similar painting by Israel sold for $581,000 in 2014 at Phillips New York.

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A series of prints by conceptual artist John Baldessari, as well as a massive work by art-market juggernaut Christopher Wool, complements a small piece by the up-and-coming artist Will Boone, prints by photographer Mariah Robertson, and a small, colorful abstract painting by the young art-world star Alex Da Corte.

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Much of Trump’s art was purchased with the assistance of adviser Alex Marshall. Most wealthy, aspiring collectors turn to art advisers for recommendations about what to buy, and to gain access to work that would be unavailable to art-world outsiders.

Ultimate holiday getaways

Ultimate holiday getaways

This time of the year there are quite a few reasons to hit the road and visit some of the world’s top tourist destinations and these new hotels and resorts prove it. From stylish New York boutique hotels to idyllic lakeside accommodation in Italy and exotic Hawaiian destinations – the ultra-wealthy are spoilt for choice when it comes to places that are the perfect blend of modern amenities and tranquil relaxation.

Ultimate holiday getawaysTheLowell

For those that enjoy the urban pace of a bustling city – New York’s renovated hotel The Lowell just re-opened its doors. Located in the prestigious Upper East Side – its 74 rooms with interiors by Michael S. Smith and a restaurant by Charles Masson and Christian Delouvrier create a real haven for people, who value comfort and class. Marble bathrooms, plush carpets and unparalleled service guarantee guests will thoroughly enjoy their stay.

Ultimate holiday getawaysOahuOasis

Oahu’s Ko Olina offers a slightly different experience of tropical idyll with the new Four Seasons Resort Oahu. The beachfront property boasts a modern Hawaiian style, with banana-leaf headboards and private lanais in a total of 371 rooms and suites. Guests are treated to traditional “loco moco” for breakfast and fresh catches for dinner in the four restaurants. A 35,000-square-foot Naupaka Spa offers Hawaiian-inspired healing therapies in breezy oceanfront treatment huts.

Ultimate holiday getawaysLiSerenoLagoDiComo

The debut of Il Sereno Lago di Como took Italy’s luxury tourism to a new level with the 30-room hotel nestled among the rocks and leaning over the lake’s shores. The artistic interior complements the floor-to-ceiling views of the water and surrounding mountains. Guests can enjoy an infinity-edge pool as well as a 16th-century estate located just 5 minutes away by Riva speedboat.