Auction estimates face scrutiny

The UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has begun talking to trade associations in the art market about the way auction houses present their pre-sale estimates, following a complaint that these do not include the (mandatory) buyer’s premium. In July, the Antiques Trade Gazette reported that the ASA had launched an investigation, though a spokesman for the authority says the publication has got “slightly ahead of itself—nothing has been finalised.” He added: “But we have decided to take a proactive tactic and see if further work needs to be done in this sector, which we hope our discussions with the industry will tell us.”