Auction houses

Feature
Auctions

Going, going, gone online: Europe's auction houses go digital

Online-only auctions may tend to focus on the lower end of the market, but they are key to expanding clientele. We survey ten auction houses to find out their strategy

News
Art market

Gerhard Richter’s jet fighter painting finally takes off at Phillips after bumpy legal battle

After previous buyer defaulted on paying for the work in 2016, painting sold in London for £15.5m in a significantly smaller auction compared with 2018

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Art market

Sotheby's puts female artists first in contemporary sale, but men still end up on top

Jenny Saville's Juncture sells for £5.4m and records set for Rebecca Warren and Nigerian artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, but Jean-Michel Basquiat still leads prices

News
Art market

Sotheby's sales up 16% in 2018 thanks to $1bn private sales boost

Auction house reports $6.4bn in total sales last year, while finance chief Mike Goss says guarantees will not be used "at a particularly high level" in future

News
Art market

The good, the pricey and the Surreal: Monet flops while Signac glows at Christie's sale

Impressionist, Modern and Surrealist art auction makes second highest total for Christie's London at £165.4m, but much of overpriced collection goes unsold

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Adolf Hitler

Faking Hitler: the story behind a sinister market

Despite the failure of five of the dictator-to-be’s watercolours to sell at auction last month, a market for his works—both real and forged—remains

Comment
Art market

Lifers no more: can auction houses keep their talent up?

A slew of recent high-profile departures begs the question—are top auction house executives burning out?

News
Art market

Shifts among the major auction houses could spell serious change

Loic Gouzer to leave Christie’s as the auction house restructures in wake of Francis Outred's departure, while Phillips upgrades its New York headquarters

Comment
artificial intelligence

We must not let the art market hoodwink us in the AI debate

The AI work that was sold at Christie's is profound in its conservatism, but others reflect how the technology can impact on art in fascinating ways

Comment
Art market

Why the Christie's and Sotheby's duopoly is impregnable

The auction houses sell more than 80% of works priced over $1m at auction—can an underdog ever wrestle market share away from them?

News
Appointments & departures

Sotheby’s Germany chief Philipp von Württemberg resigns

Heinrich von Spreti will serve as interim managing director until a replacement is found

News
Auctions

Phillips and Bonhams see strong sales on smaller lots

The auction houses' bottom lines suffered from unsold lots in their contemporary sales, continuing a trend of top-lot discernment during New York’s fall sales

News
Art market

Hockney sets new auction record for a living artist, but were strings pulled behind the no-reserve sale?

The Yorkshireman's 1970s Californian scene, Portrait of an Artist, sold on the nose at $80m at Christie's in New York last night

Comment
Art market

Common mistakes of rookie auction guarantors

Guarantees can be lucrative, but in the face of savvy competition, novices can get burnt when backing works as a third-party

News
Art market

Ambitious estimates hamper Christie's $279.2m Impressionist and Modern art sale as Van Gogh goes unsold but Monet is on the money

New York auction topped by Monet's Le bassin aux nymphaés, sold to an Asian buyer at $31.8m

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Auction record

Holy grail of folk ceramics made by 19th-century snake handler breaks auction record

The “snake jug” shattered the previous record for Anna Pottery, a niche favourite of Americana collectors

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Art market

Villa Grisebach to sell founder’s collection to raise funds for new Museum of Exile

Two-day auction will include works by Picasso, Matisse, Egon Schiele, collected by Bernd Schultz over six decades

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Art market

Christie's to offer major works from the Klapper collection that could fetch more than $50m

The 20-lot sale spans the auction house's New York and London locations and includes works ranging from Old Master paintings to a Monet

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Art market

Eric Albada Jelgersma's Old Master collection estimated to make over £26m at Christie's

Pair of portraits by Frans Hals expected to lead two-day sale of collection of Dutch entrepreneur, who was advised by the dealer Robert Noortman

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Art market

Stolen painting shown on BBC Antiques Roadshow in 1988 now held in limbo at Christie’s

Auction house sold the painting by Emma Sandys for £62,500 earlier this year, but now 19th century work is caught up in a legal battle

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Art market

Abraaj Group liquidators to sell 200 works from art collection at Bonhams

Middle Eastern and South Asian works owned by embattled Dubai-based private equity firm carry much lower estimates than prices paid a decade ago

Comment
Art market

The all-powerful market is sounding the death knell for connoisseurship

Today, art history is increasingly being written by dealers and auctioneers to suit their own purpose

News
Art market

Plucky Brits: Banksy self-destructs and Jenny Saville makes £9.5m record for a living female artist

Just when we thought Frieze week was all over, twists and turns provide high drama at Sotheby’s contemporary evening sale on Friday night

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Art market

British artists dominate Christie's patchy £71.1m sale, as over-priced Koons and Richter fail to sell

Francis Bacon's lighter depiction of George Dyer leads auction at £17.5m, with strong prices for Hurvin Anderson, Bridget Riley and Albert Oehlen

News
Frieze London 2018

Frieze London fights gender gap—but how many female artists are at the fair?

Fair focuses on women but market still favours men

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Art market

Auction transfer season: Cécile Verdier of Sotheby's replaces Christie's France president, François de Ricqlès

Move follows a record-breaking breaking year for Paris auctions in 2017

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Art market

Young pop-up The Auction Collective claims bidding on art is as easy as buying a book on Amazon

No buyer's premium and bidding paddles on your phone, but founder still believes holding physical auctions is key

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Art market

Red tape is stifling German auctions

Stringent cultural heritage laws and bureaucracy are making consignments much harder to find

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Art market

Sotheby’s earnings take a hit as demanding consignors and guarantors squeeze its commission margin

Just two paintings significantly damaged the auction house's bottom line in the second quarter

Review
Books

Very much an acquired taste: how did so many Italian baroque paintings end up in US museums?

Book provides a sampling of personalities, acquisition strategies and collections that many Europeans may not know

News
Art market

Christie’s reports record half year sales of £2.97bn

Rockefeller auction plus leap in private and online sales drive 26% increase

News
Claude Monet

Monet’s lost cat returns home to Giverny

A “purr-fect” ending to the story of the missing pottery object found in the collection of the artist’s secret granddaughter

Analysis
Art market

More than just a pretty face: furrowed brows win at Christie's patchy Old Master sale, but £6.7m sculpture tops paintings

Tacca's Hercules is star of the bronzes, while Carracci's military portrait and Rembrandt's print find favour where Rubens's daughter flounders in £31.1m sale

Analysis
Art market

Guarantees, the Beckham effect and warts-and-all portraits: Sotheby's pulls off a consistent Old Master sale

No big hitters, but overall quality and new buyers from Asia and Latin America buoyed £42.6m auction, with £5.3m record for Canova set in day sale

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Art market

Otto Naumann comes out of 'retirement' to join Sotheby's

Veteran Old Master dealer will join the auction house in New York at the end of the summer, months after selling his inventory there

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Art market

Glut of sculpture in London auctions, despite Giambologna withdrawal

Bronze and marble take centre stage during Old Masters sales week, although Dresden Mars returns home without going on the block at Sotheby's

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Art market

London’s contemporary art summer season in flux as middle market comes out on top

Christie’s introduces day sale format and established names give way to new talent

News
Art market

Lucian Freud’s late reclining nude makes London record at £22.5m

Artist was 80 years old when he began the painting of a former Tate cataloguer

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Art market

How did Adrian Ghenie conquer the art market?

The Romanian painter’s prices have increased 160-fold over the past decade. But who, or what, is behind this steep rise?

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Art market

Supply wrung out? End of term feel to London Impressionist and Modern art auctions

Sotheby's sale fell below estimate while Christie’s provided some cheer, showing there is still money in Monet – but only the right one

Comment
Art Basel 2018

Rapper pays $18.5m for work at auction but the artist gets nothing—is the system in need of reform?

Anny Shaw asks if auction houses and dealers should pay their dues to the artists from whom they profit

News
Museums

German museum and auctioneer Im Kinsky tussle over looted glass goblet

Object was returned to consigner not museum from where it was looted at the end of Second World War

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Art market

Are Sergei Skripal sanctions hitting Russian buying and selling at UK auctions?

Hostile relations between Russia and the West following attempted poisoning of former MI6 spy may dampen bidding at London's Russian sales

News
Auction houses

Beckmann painting auctioned for record €4.7m in Berlin

Villa Grisebach says price is the highest paid for any work in a German auction

News
Art market

Christie’s reintroduces contemporary art to its London summer calendar

Still no evening auction, but blue-chip artists make way for fresh talent in new day sale format

News
Art market

Women speak out about the gender pay gap at UK auction houses

Blaming an ingrained culture, auction houses vow to correct imbalance in women’s pay and representation in the highest ranks

News
Art market

Is Bonhams for sale?

Advisory group NM Rothschild has reportedly been brought in to oversee a possible sale of the British auction house

News
Art market

Object lessons: our picks from this week's evening auctions in New York

Highlights include works by Cady Noland, Kerry James Marshall and Lyonel Feininger

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Art market

Online sales, Asia and guarantees: auction house chiefs on the future of the business

The heads of Christie's, Bonhams and Phillips speak on market shifts, challenges and why they believe their model will succeed

News
Art market

Object lessons: a drawing board made for Karl Lagerfeld and more

Our pick of highlights from upcoming auctions

News

European Union tightens anti-money-laundering rules in the art market

Dealers will be compelled to verify identity of customers buying art for €10,000 or more

News
Art market

Object lessons: a psychedelic cabinet from Gaetano Pesce and more

Our pick of highlights from upcoming auctions

News
Art market

Object lessons: censored photographs by Dorothea Lange and more

Our pick of highlights from upcoming auctions

News
Art market

Sotheby's backs Indian art market by launching sales in Mumbai

Announcement comes days after auction house reinstates buyer's premium in online sales

News
Art market

Object lessons: an Egyptian beauty by Mahmoud Saïd, and the key that unlocked the Glasgow School of Art

Our pick of highlights from upcoming auctions

News
Art market

Francis Bacon's $30m portrait of George Dyer shown in London for first time in 40 years

Painting of artist’s lover and muse comes to auction for the first time at Christie’s New York in May

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Art market

Gender pay gap: top UK auction houses pay women between 22% and 37% less than men

Discrepancy comes under scrutiny as more than 10,000 companies submit figures to the Government Equalities Office

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Art market

Object lessons: a bandaged canvas by Scarpitta, Outsider erotica and a Greenwich Village vignette by Beauford Delaney

Our pick of highlights from upcoming auctions

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Art market

Surfacing on the market, April 2018

Our pick of this month’s most interesting auctions

News
Art market

Object lessons: a falangcai bowl that could set a new record for Chinese porcelain

A rare painting by Zao Wou-Ki and a watercolour from the collection of a former V&A director are also coming to auction

News
Art market

Christian Jankowski fills Berlin auction house with 'fakes'

German artist questions authorship and market value in show of paintings by Chinese copyists based on famous works by Caravaggio, Hockney and others

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Art market

Asia Week auctions reveal breadth of the market

Christie’s and Sotheby’s dominate in terms of value but smaller firms can compete in the field of Asian art, with the internet’s help

News
Art market

Object lessons: nature-inspired works by Axel Salto, Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Giacomo Manzù

Our pick of highlights from upcoming auctions

Preview
Art market

Surfacing on the market: Il Guercino's dog, John McEnroe's Mark Bradford and Jeffrey Archer's cartoons

Our pick of this month’s most interesting auction

News
Art market

Mystery Picasso collector on spending spree buys £49.8m portrait of Marie-Thérèse

Buyer bidding through advisors Gurr Johns, combined with strong Asian interest, buoys London Impressionist and Modern art sales at Christie's and Sotheby's

Comment
Deaccessioning

Auction houses must share the blame for university sell-offs

Christie's sale of 46 works from La Salle collection will diminish the museum and its academic programme

News
Art market

Ageing Picasso’s painting of lover and virile musketeer could make £18m at Christie's

Mousquetaire et nu assis is among highlights of London evening sale of Modern and Impressionist art in February

News
Art market

Dreweatts 1759 buys struggling Mallett for £100,000 from Stanley Gibbons

London and New York antiques dealership will now form new private sales division of UK auctioneer Dreweatts, based in Berkshire and Pall Mall

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Art market

Sotheby’s acquires tech startup Thread Genius

The company uses image recognition software to find works of art that match users’ tastes

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Art market

Paddle8 to allow cryptocurrency in online auctions

The auction house has merged with Swiss technology company The Native

News
Art market

Global auction sales up 25% to $11.2bn in 2017

Contemporary art leads market recovery at Christie’s, Sotheby’s and Phillips, according to ArtTactic report

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Art market

Author Don Thompson takes issue with 'the last Leonardo' tagline and casts 2018 market predictions

$450m Salvator Mundi sale too late to be included in new book, The Orange Balloon Dog, but would have filled several chapters, economist says

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Art market

Qi Baishi paintings set new $141m record for Chinese artist

Set of 12 ink panels by traditional master sell to Chinese buyer at Poly Auction Beijing for RMB931.5m

News
Art market

Object lessons: our pick of highlights from upcoming design auctions in New York

Works by George Grant Elmslie, Umberto Bellotto and Jean Royère are being offered