This first-edition iPhone sold for a record $63,356 (£52,600) by LCG Auctions.

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Vendor made a smart decision

A 16-year-old, factory-sealed, first-edition iPhone has sold for a record $63,356 (£52,600) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Originally released on June 29, 2007, priced at $599, the design featuring 8GB of storage, a touchscreen, a 2-megapixel camera and a web browser quickly became Apple’s most successful product.

The unopened example, of fered online by LCG Auctions on February 19, was given to the consignor as a gift although, unable to change her number and contracted to a network, she never opened it.

She had considered selling it on a number of occasions and finally relented after another was sold for $39,340 (£34,600) in October, also by LCG.

Record Rubens returns to auction

Rubens' Portrait of a Man as the God Mars

Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ Portrait of a Man as the God Mars, estimate $20m-30m at Sotheby’s New York.

Sir Peter Paul Rubens’ Portrait of a Man as the God Mars has been unveiled by Sotheby’s in Brussels – the region where it was first created, returning two centuries after it was last seen in the country.

The c.1620 painting was once the most expensive Rubens work ever sold at auction after it fetched $8.2m at Sotheby’s New York in 2000. It was last on the market in 2002.

Unusually, Sotheby’s is offering the picture at its Modern art evening sale in New York in May, with an estimate of $20m-30m.

It is being sold by the Fisch Davidson Collection following the divorce of Mark Fisch and Rachel Davidson. The couple also consigned 10 Baroque paintings to Sotheby’s including Rubens’ The Head of Saint John the Baptist Presented to Salome which sold at $23.5m (£19.1m) on January 26 (as reported in ATG No 2578).

For more on Old Master pictures and the paintings sold from the Fisch Davidson Collection see page 16-17.

Paintings stolen from a viewing

Stolen pictures

Sloane Street Auctions reported stolen pictures including The Letterwriter Surprised by Gabriel Metsu (1629-67), above left; an oil on panel of Diana with her attendants in a grotto by Abraham van Cuylenbroch (1620-58), above right; and an oil on canvas of a Guardroom interior with men drinking and playing cards by Gerard ter Borch the Younger (1617-81), bottom.

The Metropolitan police and Sloane Street Auctions are appealing for help to recover three paintings taken from a viewing in Belgravia. They went missing from a private room in the Wilton Arms on February 9.

The theft was reported to the Metropolitan Police. Anyone with information should contact the police by calling 101 quoting incident reference number 6510433/23 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Coronation pushes Petworth back

The Petworth Park Antiques & Fine Art Fair is taking place at a slightly later time this year.

The annual event, originally scheduled for its usual spot in early May, has moved because of the coronation of King Charles III on May 6 (and the subsequent bank holiday weekend). It will now take place on May 19-21 in its usual location of a purpose-built marquee in the grounds of the National Trust’s Petworth House in West Sussex.

Phillips prepares for Hong Kong

Phillips will open its new headquarters in Hong Kong next month and has announced a programme of sales and events.

Its new Asia headquarters, which spans over 52,000 sq ft across six floors of the WKCDA Tower in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District will host auctions and exhibitions.

The opening day is scheduled for March 18.

Its Hong Kong Spring sales of 20th century & Contemporary art are scheduled for March 30-31. Phillips held its first auction in Hong Kong in December 2015 and has been steadi ly expanding into Asia since.

Most read

The most clicked-on stories for week February 16-22 on antiquestradegazette.com

1 Hansons Auctioneers expands into Kent with latest saleroom opening at The Pantiles Arcade

2 The Open Art Fair called off due to insufficient interest

3 Sign of lovable rogue Lovejoy’s popularity

4 Plea to help recover paintings stolen in Belgravia

5 Art dealer settles Artist’s Resale Right dispute out of court

In Numbers


The value of the donation from the Blavatnik Family Foundation and Warner Music Group to help the V&A acquire the David Bowie archive. Comprising more than 80,000 items such as handwritten lyrics, instruments and costumes, the archive will be made available from 2025 at the V&A East Storehouse at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in east London.