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About Auction House

For over four decades, Guernsey's has built a reputation as an auction house known for presenting extraordinary and unusual properties. It has offered the largest auction in history (the contents of the S.S. United States ocean liner), as well as vintage racing cars, pre-Castro Cuban cigars, and the $3 million McGwire baseball. Guernsey's also has brought some of the most famous and intriguing personalities of the 20th century to auction — from the official Elvis auction featuring items from the Graceland archives to documents and artifacts relating to the life and career of John F. Kennedy.

Auction Previews & News

4 Results
  • Auction Industry
    Important Artifacts From the Life of Nelson Mandela Highlight Guernsey’s Upcoming January Sale

    Mandela as prisoner. Image copyrighted by Lionel Shapiro. Image courtesy of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. Nelson Mandela delivered his famous "Speech from the Dock" while facing his death penalty on April 20, 1964. He concluded the speech by saying, "I have fought against white domination, and I have fought against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal which I hope to live for and to achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die." These words immortalized Mandela and symbolized his life-long dedication to the fight for equality, as well as the eradication of the South African racist system of apartheid.  Years of unjust imprisonment and a Nobel Peace Prize later, Nelson Mandela voted for the first time in 1994. In the same year, he became the first democratically elected President of South Africa. A red, white, and blue blanket gifted to Nelson Mandela by President and Mrs. Obama. Image courtesy of Guernsey’s. Guernsey's will honor the revolutionary life of the South African activist and philanthropist during its upcoming auction of historical and important artifacts from the life of Nelson Mandela. Items as iconic as the man himself highlight the event. Top lots range from Nelson Mandela's Robben Island cell key and his iconic "Madiba" shirt to gifts he received from important senders like Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and the United Nations. Nelson Mandela’s Robben Island prison cell key. Image courtesy of Guernsey’s. Nelson Mandela spent 18 of his first 27 years in captivity at the infamous Robben Island. Even from the inside of a prison known for its brutal treatment and inhumane living conditions, Mandela managed to contribute to his reforms outside. Prison inmates were prohibited from writing or sending letters except once every six months. With the help of his fellow inmates and visitors, Mandela managed to smuggle out statements and letters that continued his anti-apartheid movement. The key to his tiny Robben Island cell is available for…

  • Auction Result
    Around the Auction World: August 2021

    Photos from around the auction world in August 2021. Image credit from left to right: Saffronart, Bonhams, and Morton Subastas. Collage by Heemin Moon (Auction Daily). The summer auction season drew to a gentle close in August 2021. The month offered many opportunities to encounter contemporary art and 20th-century collectibles, as well as dedicated sales of Outsider Art, LGBTQ+ art, and celebrity memorabilia. The art world also showed signs of recovery after more than a year of pandemic-related losses. California’s Monterey Car Week returned in full force after an extended break, and Christie’s announced ambitious plans to expand its presence in Hong Kong.  From American pewter to beluga whales, here are the top headlines from around the auction world in August 2021. 1970 Porsche 917K. Image from RM Sotheby’s. Industry Trends August opened with the long-awaited 2021 edition of Monterey Car Week in California. The event signaled the health of the car collecting market with enthusiastic buying across all ten days. RM Sotheby’s alone brought in USD 148.5 million. The other participating auction houses, including Bonhams and Mecum Auctions, saw strong results as well.  Celebrity collectibles dominated headlines this month. Heritage Auctions offered the game-worn baseball jersey associated with Hank Aaron’s 3,000th hit in mid-August. It sold for $540,000, well above its starting estimate of $200,000. Julien’s Auctions featured a selection of Lucille Ball memorabilia in its summer Hollywood sale, held at the end of the month. Auction houses continued to embrace NFTs this August. Christie’s Hong Kong announced plans for a dedicated NFT auction in Asia this September. The company will become the first international auction house to formally enter the region’s digital art market. It particularly hopes to attract millennial collectors in Hong Kong, many of whom helped sustain revenues during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the Mystic Aquarium’s beluga whales. Image courtesy of the Mystic Aquarium. Auction Highlights Guernsey’s brought an unprecedented opportunity to the auction block this August. Bidders competed to win the naming rights for three beluga whales that were recently transferred to Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium. The sale of two names yielded $1.5 million for…

  • Auction Industry
    Guernsey’s Offers Chance to Name Three Beluga Whales, Benefits Mystic Aquarium

    Halfway through 2021, a years-long project reached its dramatic conclusion. Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium successfully acquired five beluga whales from Marineland of Canada and flew them across national borders in a cargo plane. The widely-publicized transfer supports the Aquarium’s non-invasive research efforts. This August, bidders have the opportunity to name three of the belugas and help the Aquarium fund the multi-million dollar transfer. A charity auction facilitated by Guernsey’s will begin on August 19th, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT. Tickets to attend the live auction start at USD 150 per person. Interested bidders can also participate online through LiveAuctioneers. “The importance of protecting endangered beluga whales cannot be overstated. It is an honor to be assisting the Mystic Aquarium and its noble goal of helping these wonderful animals,” Guernsey’s President Arlan Ettinger said in a press release. “Bidding to name a whale must be a first in auction history.” Some of the beluga whales at the Mystic Aquarium. Image courtesy of Guernsey’s/ the Mystic Aquarium. Renaming whales after a transfer is a common move in the marine science world, states the Mystic Aquarium. The new names will not affect the whales’ well-being or training, as they interact with staff and trainers through physical motions. Bids for the naming rights start at $120,000 each. Guernsey’s expects the bidding could reach $1,000,000 per whale. Winners will also receive a 21-inch tall bronze sculpture of a beluga created by wildlife artist Dan Ostermiller. Those interested in naming a beluga whale have a lower-cost option as well. The Mystic Aquarium will offer a ticket raffle for the naming rights of a fourth whale. Chances are $10 each, and the winner will be chosen on December 31st, 2021.  This auction comes after a string of challenges in securing the whales. The Mystic Aquarium’s five new juvenile belugas— Kharabali, Havana, Jetta, Havok, and Sahara— started life in captivity at Marineland of Canada. The Niagara Falls zoo and amusement park cares for thousands of animals, including cetaceans. Opened in 1961, Marineland has faced extensive criticism in recent decades due to its treatment of marine mammals. It housed over…

  • Auction Preview
    Treasures from the King of Pop Michael Jackson

    Michael Jackson moonwalked his way to stardom. From being the youngest member of the Jackson 5, he went on to become an American pop icon. Along with the music he created, the King of Pop was famous for his extravagant lifestyle. For the first time, 69 items from his fabled Santa Barbara ranch will go under the auction hammer. This auction, offered by Guernsey's, is the result of a relentless fan’s pursuit to acquire some of Jackson’s possessions. It will include many bronze sculptures owned by the artist. Monkeying Around Tree House is a signed bronze sculpture from Mark Hopkins. In this piece, children are shown playing in a treehouse and swinging around the branches. A pair of gilt malachite candelabras featuring foliage, flowers, and dolphins is noteworthy as well. Collectors interested in memorabilia can find the Jackson 5’s first label contract signed by Joe Jackson and a stage-worn costume ensemble from the band. View and bid for the mentioned items and more on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Industry
    Guernsey’s to offer treasures once owned by Michael Jackson

    The Jackson 5's First Label Contract. Estimate $50,000 - $100,000. NEW YORK, NY.- On October 23rd, an auction of beloved items once owned by Michael Jackson will be sold online by Guernsey’s. The items can be previewed and bid upon now at, and In 2009, a major collection of exceptional items owned by Michael Jackson, world famous entertainer and global icon, were going to be auctioned. Many of the items adorned Michael’s fabled Santa Barbara ranch and private amusement park. Legal issues arose however, and the auction was cancelled. Michael’s countless fans around the world were terribly disappointed to have lost the chance to acquire treasures once owned by the legendary performer. One fan was so upset that he pursued the matter legally and, after a multi-year effort, became the only person given access to Michael’s Collection. He acquired forty-eight bronze sculptures along with an array of other beloved items once owned by the legendary performer. Now, more than a decade later, the collector has decided to share Michael’s cherished items with the world and give fans the chance to own a piece of the King of Pop’s legacy. The bronze sculptures range from the French 99” tall Gloria Victus by Antonin Mercie to a joyful figure of Peter Pan. Among the other items to be sold from the Collection will be a model of the Jolly Roger pirate ship reportedly given to Michael by none other than Elizabeth Taylor, a life-sized figure of Marilyn Monroe and a pair of massive malachite candelabras. Importantly, the auction will also include the original contract signed by Joe Jackson (Michael’s father) to produce the Jackson Five’s first recording! Prospective bidders should note that all of Michael’s items will be sold without minimum reserves. The Collection of the King of Pop: Michael Jackson Auction in 2009 was slated to have been a "blockbuster.” Although many of Michael’s possessions may never be sold, this beautiful collection will be. On October 23, you’ll have the chance to be amongst a handful of people around the world to own one of Michael’s beloved items.

  • Auction Preview
    The Legendary Vladi Collection of Historical Maps

    Farhad Vladi first imagined himself buying and selling islands after reading an article about such a transaction in Seychelles. The article, it turned out, was fake, but Vladi nonetheless went on to sell over 2,000 private islands over the next 50 years. Every time Vladi represented an island, he sought antique maps of it and the surrounding region. This curiosity led to a wide-ranging collection of maps that Guernsey’s now brings to auction. Featured in this event is the Theatrum Orbis Terrarum atlas (1574) by Abraham Ortelius. The creation of the Ortelius atlas marked the first time that maps by various cartographers were printed uniformly and arranged cohesively, leading many to consider it the first modern atlas. The title page contains an allegorical depiction of each known continent, with Europe presented as the queen. Also available is the Tabulae Geographicae atlas (1585 & 1589) by Gerard Mercator. Maps of France, Germany, the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg), Italy, and the Balkans are included in this atlas. Near the end of the work are two maps presumably added by Mercator's son after the cartographer's death. Those looking for more maps of Asia, Africa, and the Americas will find several included in Frederick de Wit's General Atlas (1656-1666). Those interested in this or any other lot can register to bid on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Industry
    Guernsey’s to offer the legendary Vladi Collection of Historical Maps

    Ortelius, Abraham. Theatrum Orbis Terrarum (atlas). NEW YORK, NY.-Guernsey’s brings to auction The Legendary Vladi Collection of Historical Maps. The auction, scheduled for September 23, will include over 300 examples of the finest quality antique maps, with proceeds benefiting MapAction, an organization that uses maps to aid those in disaster-stricken areas. In addition to a discerning collector of maps, Vladi Farhad, is the foremost international island broker, having sold more than 2,000 private islands over his near five-decade career. His interest in antique maps was born out of his interest in islands. Whenever he represented an island, he would seek out antique maps of that island to gift to his clients. What began as a generous gesture burgeoned into a world-class collection. As a member of the International Map Collectors Society, Vladi has traveled the world in his quest to amass a collection of the finest, rarest, and most beautiful maps he could find. The collection he assembled is a true depiction of the history of European map making, encompassing four hundred years of cartographic development with a focus on maps predating the 19th-century. The collection features maps from the world’s most noted cartographers including Gerard Mercator, Willem Jansz Blaeu, Abraham Ortelius, Johann Baptist Homann, Sebastian Münster, and Matthäus Seutter. The oldest map in the collection, Magna Germania, by Ptolemäus and dated 1486, marks the start of modern map making as the first map printed from woodblock. Hartmann Schedel’s “Nuremberg Chronicle”, an illustrated encyclopedia recording world events, is one of the very first works printed by Gutenberg himself in 1493 and is of unmatched historical importance. Chronologically, these two works serve as exemplary works marking the beginning of map making in the printed era. The work of Sebastian Müller, particularly a map of Europe and a map of the World, leads the Collection into the 16th century. Many of the maps date from the 17th and 18th centuries when the use of copperplate engraving allowed cartographers the art and precision not formerly achievable. The legendary works of the Dutch baroque masters Blaeu, Stoopendahl, Hondius and de Wit, and 18th century cartographers…

  • Auction Preview
    The Noted Art Collection of Nicholas Zoullas

    Kees van Dongen, a Dutch-born French painter, is best known for his contributions to Fauvism around the turn of the 20th century. One of his oil paintings, titled Windmill in a Landscape, will be featured in the upcoming Guernsey’s auction. This 1895 work is painted in shades of olive green, yellow, and brown. It comes from the collection of Nicholas Zoullas, a Greek immigrant who fled persecution during World War II. He began collecting fine art during the 1980s, gradually building a diverse collection of 19th- and 20th-century works. Another Greek artist featured in the Zoullas Collection is Constantinos Parthenis, a Cubist and Modernist who helped introduce light and color into Greek painting. The signed piece shows a larger-than-life woman kneeling in a cityscape.  Several paintings from Terry Rodgers are also on offer. These works, made between 2003 and 2004, show what the artist describes as “contemporary body politics.” One of the works, titled Beaujolais Nouveau (New Wine), shows a nude, collared woman sitting beside several wine glasses. Behind her, a half dozen figures look away from the viewer. Viktor Olivier Gilsoul’s painting titled Painter’s Studio shows a richly decorated office with a fireplace and messy bookshelf. Several sculptures are also available, including a 16th-century Thai Gautama Siddhartha figure and a contemporary ceramic sculpture by Robert Combas. Explore the full catalog and register to bid online by visiting Bidsquare. 

  • Auction Preview
    Humanity / Inhumanity

    The Humanity / Inhumanity Auction, offered by Guernsey’s, is a small collection of items that links the holocaust with the civil rights movement. Among the remarkable items for sale is the “Voices of Independence,” a historic collection of documents that outline the future of the new Independent State of Israel as envisioned by the thirty-seven members of its Provisional Council on Friday, May 14, 1948. Each of the council's thirty-five men and two women eventually signed the scroll that would act as the Israeli Declaration of Independence. The ideas put forth in the documents of this lot are those that shaped and that continue to shape the Israeli State.  A collection of letters written by early modernist artist Marc Chagall during and after the Holocaust, as well as a rare self-portrait is available. The letters, signed either "Marc Chagall" or the Chagalls are the correspondence between the Chagalls, Gen. Morris C. Troper, and Mrs. Ethel Troper. They were eminent figures of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee who were instrumental in helping the Chagalls immigrate to the United States in 1941.  Celebrating the life of Eugene B. Sloan is another collection. Sloan, a South Carolina reporter during the civil rights era, was always armed with his tape recorder. He is remembered for capturing key moments during the struggle for civil rights in the South. Also included in the collection is a recording, never before heard of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King addressing an audience at County Hall in Charleston on July 30, 1967, less than a year before his death. View any of these lots and register to bid on Invaluable 

  • Auction Preview
    Two Spectacular Vintage Automobiles

    Guernsey’s is showcasing the Two Spectacular Vintage Automobiles auction.  The auction features Elizabeth Taylor’s 1961 Rolls Royce Silver Cloud II H.J. Mulliner Drophead Coupe and a 1964 Ferrari 330 GT, Series 1.  The Rolls Royce has had only two owners. With 40,644 original miles, this car is in excellent condition. It has been mechanically maintained and has a new convertible top.  The Ferrari has been fully and correctly restored apart from the leather seats due to fine patina. Its engine has had a complete rebuild by a Ferrari specialist and the car has 29,000 original miles.  There is no price range and no minimum reserve for the auction. To view the cars, visit Guernsey’s.