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Monday 2 January 2017

How to Steal a Kandinsky

Not satisfied with pinching Damien Hirsts from Mayfair couturiers, Design Trawler's next great art heist sets the bar a little higher. How about a grand master? Something like a Kandinsky; grand master indeed of modernism; having taught at the Bauhaus and being credited as of of the world's first abstract painters. A learned economist and lawyer, I'm sure old boy Wassily would appreciate this heist. So let's begin...

The target is a limited edition print from Kandinsky's architectural period that hangs in the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Important because it's a collaboration between one of the world's finest artists, and Chateau Mouton Rothschild; one of only five Premier Cru classification Bordeaux marques in the world. Like the Hirst x Nobu, and Hirst x McQueen collaborations, the pairing is masterful because it blurs the line between great art, and great enterprise.

The label from the 1971 Mouton Rothschild features the Kandiksky design from 1939 at the top. But how can a simple wine label be considered great art? Easy, the label is a print like all other fine art prints. It's circulation is limited and indicated in red on the label - only 224,386 regular bottles, and only 1,750 Magnums were ever produced. Now consider most bottles editions will be discarded after drinking, and you've got a continually diminishing edition size.

If only 10% of the produced stock is consumed each year. In the 45 years since the 1971 was produced, 99% of the stock is likely to no longer exist. For the 1,750 magnum labels, this means there's likely to be 17 labels still around. Suddenly, this is no longer any old label. You're looking at a genuine Kandinsky print; a collaboration no less; where the original hangs in one of the world's most respected galleries, and of an edition of less than 20.
So what of the heist? Considering the above, and the fact that a Kandinsky print from an edition of 50 has been known to go under the hammer for north of £40,000, Design Trawler's shrewed sourcing of the 1971 Kandinsky for under a £10 makes it the steal of the century. Like the very best great art heists, it is calculated, and effortless, and remains under the radar of the great art market.

Let it be known that the works of Picasso, Miro, Warhol and Koons also all feature on the Chateau labels; and if the prospect of owning any the above appeals, you'll have to beat Design Trawler to them first
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