Buyers in Southern California and Hong Kong Come Together To Celebrate, Purchase Fine Wines
The Spring Auction Features Several Consignors
Including The Aubrey McClendon Collection Part II and The Historic Collection of Dr. George Primbs
Irvine, CA, March 18, 2010 – After a stunning success in 2009 for their very first live auction and multiple online auctions each month since last July, new auction house Spectrum Wine Auctions has confirmed dates and locations for their first live auction of 2010, another global event. The auction takes place simultaneously on Saturday, April 24 at Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa, California, and on Sunday, April 25 at Crown Wine Cellars in Hong Kong. The auction will present more than 850 lots, which includes collections of two anchor consignors: The Aubrey McClendon Collection Part II and The Historic Collection of Dr. George Primbs.
“We’re carrying our momentum from last year forward into The Spring Auction,” said Spectrum Wine Auctions CEO Greg Roberts. “Both buyers and consignors responded positively to our pre-auction practices of providing a single estimate for each lot, as well as our unique 360-degree photos of many of the lots.”
“The auction will be live and truly synchronized to our two luxurious locations, with auctioneers and video simulcasts at each,” Roberts added. “Charlie Palmer is one of Orange County’s most amazing destinations for fine dining and wine, and we are also very happy to return to Crown Wine Cellars, a historic venue that is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s finest wine cellar facilities and a center of the Hong Kong wine world. Each location will provide our bidders with the ultimate fine auction experience.”
The two principal consignors for this auction represent two ends of the spectrum. On the one hand is Aubrey McClendon, one of the greatest American wine collectors and co-founder and CEO of Chesapeake Energy Corporation (NYSE:CHK) in 1989, one of the largest US natural gas producers.
McClendon was a voracious collector. Spectrum’s director of sales and consignments Mario Sculatti said, “Aubrey cuts to the core of what’s important in collecting. He collects the best vintages in depth of cases and large format sizes, approaching his collecting seriously and methodically without being tempted by lesser vintages.” Wines from McClendon’s vast collection formed the backbone of Spectrum’s 2009 auction, which brought in nearly $3.5 million overall with 100% of lots sold.
On the other hand, Santa Barbara resident, community leader and winemaker Dr. George Primbs has quietly been collecting wine for half a century. Dr. Primbs co-founded and is chairman of the board of Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE), a charitable organization that provides worldwide medical, surgical, and educational services through volunteer ophthalmic surgeons with the primary objective of restoring sight and transforming lives. He serves as a researcher at the Neuroscience Institute at UC Santa Barbara; clinical professor of ophthalmology at UCLA; and president and medical director of the Santa Barbara Eye Foundation. He also was in private ophthalmology practice in Santa Barbara from 1962 to 1995. He received a commendation from Santa Barbara County in December 2009 for his more than 40 years’ service to the residents.
Dr. Primbs’ love of wine began in North Africa, when he performed charity surgery there. He recalls, “For my surgery the Europeans gave me wine for payment in gratitude, albeit unsolicited by me." He began collecting in 1959. “Once you become a collector, you seek more and more. It’s human nature to acquire those things you value and now I call them my Liquid Assets! I share with my friends and their birth years are in my collection, so we have a great time looking through my cellar. When I share a rare wine with my tasting buddies I appreciate their appreciation as they also share with me. It is a very satisfying human social thing.” Dr. Primbs plans to use some of the proceeds realized from the sale to conduct diabetes research.
Amanda Keston, Spectrum’s director of client services, is bullish about the Spring Auction. “The wine-auction market has turned the corner,” she explained in a recent interview, “both with interest from American and particularly Asian collectors.” Hong Kong has recently overtaken London as the world’s second largest auction market, she added. “Our goal is to keep the auctions lively and exciting. We combine the thrill of the sale with entertainment and education,” she continues. “It’s fun if you have waves of wine coming out for everyone to try. At the November auction, we had endless amounts of champagne throughout the evening, and we poured some bottles of Lafite, Latour, and Haut-Brion, just to make it more of a celebration.”
Spectrum Wine Auctions welcomes enquiries from consignors and collectors. Please contact Amanda Keston at 888.982.1982 for additional information and questions.
About Spectrum Wine Auctions:
Spectrum Wine Auctions, based in Irvine, Calif., delivers a worldwide buying, selling and appraisal venue for collectors of rare and fine vintage wines. Live and online wine auctions span the globe and offer bidders and consignors alike the opportunity to collect and sell their favorite wines of the world with confidence and ease. Spectrum Wine Auctions is a division of Spectrum Group International, Inc., which includes first-class auction houses in numismatics, philately, and fine arms and militaria, as well as trading and financing on a wide array of collectibles, including coins, precious metals and currency, bullion, and guns and militaria.