Tsar Nicholas II's rare vintages highlight March
Wine Signature® event
A rare 1915 White Muscat, bottled for Tsar Nicholas
II's summer palace and among the last to appear in his cellar
before his assassination, joins a broad selection of 20th century
vintages at Heritage Auctions' Signature® Wine Auction event. The March 29 auction
starts at 6 p.m. in Beverly Hills with a real-time simulcast to
Hong Kong on March 30 at 9 a.m.
Wines from the Massandra Collection, which make up 145 lots of
tokays, muscats, sherry and port, were bottled at the winery, which
was built in the 1890s. Workers spent three years carving tunnels
deep into Crimea's granite mountains, perfecting cellars suitable
for aging these unique and treasured wines.
"Massandra's wines are so historically important that sharing
them becomes an entirely different type of memory created with
friends," said Frank Martell, Director of Fine and Rare Wine at
Heritage. "The wines offer spectacular drinking, but they are also
thought and conversation provoking, which is just one reason why I
love these wines so much."
All 145 lots in this sale were hand-selected by Mr. Martell
during an intense three-day visit to Massandra, during which all
but one wine was sampled so that relevant tasting notes and ratings
accompany each lot for the first time in the United States.
Included in this selection are a 1901
Tokay Ai Danil, estimated to bring $1,200+, and a 1905
Rose Muscat Livadia, estimated to bring $1,800+, which are
among the last remaining bottles that were actually produced for
the Tsar and his family. Also highlighted in this collection is a
1923 White Muscat, estimated to bring $2,600+ for the lot, and
a six-pack of
1954 White Muscat Livadia, estimated to bring $1,400+ for the
lot, which received nearly flawless ratings of 98 and 99 points
"There are 47 Massandra vintages on offer in this auction
touching upon almost the entire catalog of what is produced at this
legendary estate," Martell said. "My sincere hope is that as many
people as possible have the wherewithal to step out of the norm and
bring home some of this outstanding wine and share it. With so many
individual vintages available, it has never been easier to
celebrate milestone birthdays or anniversaries with a wine whose
journey begins alongside our own. These bottles have spent a
lifetime waiting for your occasion."
Among the leading French offerings, a 1945
Chateau Latour Pauillac, is expected to fetch $24,000+, a
collector's choice, 12-bottle assortment of 1993
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti may bring $20,000+.
The auction also features a strong selection of French large
format bottles starting with two Jeroboams of 1982 Chateau Lafite
Rothschild, expected to bring $15,000+ each and a single
Imperial expected to reach $20,000+.
imperials of 1982 Chateau Latour are expected to bring $15,000+
each, while three individual imperials of
1982 La Mission Haut Brion are expected to bring better than
Additional exceptional lots include a 12-bottle lot of 1970
Chateau Petrus Pomerol, expected to bring at least $15,000+, a
12-bottle lot of 1989
La Tache Domaine de la Romanee Conti, expected to break
$11,000, and a six-bottle Magnum lot of 2003
Chateau Ausone, expected to bring $10,000+.
about Wine auctions.
Back to Top
Dr. Francis Crick's Nobel Prize For Discovering
DNA Structure To Be Offered
The 1962 Nobel Prize for
Physiology or Medicine awarded to Dr. Francis Harry Compton
Crick, along with Drs. James Dewey Watson and Maurice Hugh
Frederick Wilkins, for "...their discoveries concerning the
molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for
information transfer in living material" will be auctioned with an
opening bid of $500,000 when it comes across the block at Heritage
Auctions on April 11 as the highlight of the company's Historical Manuscripts Signature®
The auction of the medal is a historic moment, marking the first
time that a Nobel Prize has been sold at public auction. It has
been kept in a safe deposit box in California since Crick's widow
passed away, and has been consigned to auction by his heirs. It is
one of 10 lots consigned by the family, including Crick's endorsed Nobel Prize Check, dated Dec.
10, 1962 and one of his lab coats. The trove also contains
nautical logbooks, gardening journals and books from Crick's
"This year marks the 60th anniversary of the historic discovery
of the structure of DNA and 50 years have passed since Francis
Crick was awarded the Nobel Prize," said Kindra Crick,
granddaughter of the famous scientist and spokesperson for the
family. "For most of that time, the Nobel Prize and the unique
personal diploma have been locked up. By auctioning his Nobel it
will finally be made available for public display and be well
looked after. Our hope is that, by having it available for display,
it can be an inspiration to the next generation of scientists."
In addition, the Prize's proceeds will again be used to promote
ground-breaking scientific research, as a portion of the sale will
be awarded to the new Francis Crick Institute in London set to be
completed in 2015.
"The discovery of the structure of DNA launched a scientific
revolution and forever changed human understanding of life," said
Sandra Palomino, Director of Historical Manuscripts for Heritage
Auctions. "This medal is the embodiment of the respect and
recognition that came with that momentous breakthrough."
Crick showed an aptitude toward science at an early age,
receiving a Bachelor of Science in Physics from University College
London at the age of 21. He met James D. Watson (b. 1928), a 23
year-old American postdoctoral zoologist with a background in
genetics, in 1951. The two men, discovering a shared common goal of
solving the molecular structure of deoxyribonucleic acid, or DNA,
became close friends and partners.
Crick, alongside Watson and Wilkins, received his Nobel Prize
from the hand of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden at the Stockholm
Concert Hall on Dec. 10, 1962. Rosalind Franklin, who also
contributed to the discovery, died in 1958 before the Nobel was
awarded. It is not awarded posthumously.
"The whole family went to the grand ceremony in Stockholm where
the Nobel Prizes were awarded by the King of Sweden." said Michael
Crick, Francis Crick's son, "My Dad dressed for the occasion, gave
a speech and danced with my sister Gabrielle. It was a great honor
to be there."
After receiving the medal, however, Crick — never one to rest on
his laurels, went right back to work.
"We know he deeply appreciated the recognition by his peers,"
said Michael, "but he did not talk much about winning the medal
after the event. That was the thing about my Dad; he was a very
focused scientist and after DNA he went on to work on the mechanism
of protein synthesis, deciphering the three-letter nature of the
genetic code and determining the origins of life on earth. He was a
driven scientist his whole life. At 60, he turned his attention to
theoretical neurobiology and for the next 28 years helped advance
the study of human consciousness."
Crick's granddaughter echoes those sentiments about his humble
nature and attitude of hard work.
"My Granddad was honored to have received the Nobel Prize," she
said, "but he was not the type to display his awards; his office
walls contained a large chalkboard, artwork and a portrait of
Crick's initials are engraved on the reverse of the medal, along
with the year of the prize, 1962, presented in Roman numerals:
"F. H. C. Crick/MCMLXII." The second piece of the Prize, the
Nobel diploma — two beautifully handwritten, vellum pages, 9.5" x
13.5", in Swedish, dated Stockholm, October 18, 1962 — is also
information about Historical auctions.
Back to Top
Doodle for Hunger auction is now open
"Doodle for Hunger" is a fun online auction of
original signed works of art by comic and illustration artists.
These artists put their creative skills to good use by doodling to
support St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters.
The St. Francis Food Pantries & Shelters supports a network
of charitable programs that provide a broad range of services for
those in need, including the provision of food, clothing, shelter,
and related social services for the poor. The St. Francis Food
Pantries & Shelters also fights hunger through special events
for those in need. Each location has customized its program
according to the needs of the local community.
John Reiner and Bunny Hoest
Matthew Van Fleet
Working together with the staff and volunteers at various
locations to promote emotional and physical well-being through
programs sponsored by banks, hospitals, social service providers,
and the corporate community, the St. Francis Food Pantries &
Shelters raises awareness of the needs within the community and
forges new relationships.
The auction is offered on the internet only. Bidding will open
March 24 at 10 PM CT and will close Friday April 14 at 10 PM CT.
For more information, contact Jeri Carroll, 800.872.6476 x1873 or
More information about Charity auctions.
Back to Top