UNITED STATES, November 25 ― A night of high glamour and even higher bidding at Sotheby's New York saw the Jony Ive and Marc Newson―curated RED auction initially raise over US$13 million (RM41.8 million) to help in the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.
However, the final figure is actually closer to US$26 million as Bill and Melinda Gates were in attendance and pledged to match the final figure, however much was raised.
A one-off Leica camera designed and built by the design duo and an equally unique aluminium desk were expected to be the stars of the 44―lot show. And indeed, both pieces raced past their estimates. The (RED) desk achieved six times its estimate to fetch US$1,685,000 and the Leica Range Finder camera ― predicted to raise US$500,000―US$750,000, had hit the US$1.8 million mark when the hammer fell.
But the bidding was frenzied from the off, with only one item failing to meet its estimate; a Jasper Morrison and Wataru Kumano December chair prototype fetched just US$11,250.
And while everyone expected bidding for the camera and the desk to hit stratospheric levels, both items were almost upstaged by a desktop computer.
At US$977,000 the customized Mac Pro not only raised almost 25 times its estimate, it is the most expensive PC ever sold at auction.
Likewise a set of Apple earbuds, a standard piece of kit for anyone with an iPhone, which had been made using 18k rose gold, had expected to fetch US$20,000, but actually raised a scarcely believable US$461,000 when the hammer fell.
Other runaway lots included a customized Range Rover that fetched US$461,000, a perfect replica of the scooter from the cult film “Quadrophenia” signed by the surviving members of The Who (US$209,000).
A vintage Dieter Rams―designed Braun hi-fi system also sold for US$100,000 ― ten times its original estimate.
The Jony Ive of his day, Rams and the philosophy he installed at Braun are claimed by many to be the inspiration for Ive's own approach to industrial and consumer product design at Apple.― AFP―Relaxnews