Thursday, February 1, 2024

Art sales by brokers

 High priced art sold by Sotheby's isn't all sold at auction. Sometimes it is privately brokered.

The Financial Times has the story of how a trial is shedding light on the process.

Sotheby’s trial provides a peek behind the curtain of private art sales. Testimony in New York case pitting wealthy oligarch against the famed auction house has shed new light on high-end transactions. by Madison Darbyshire 

"While Sotheby’s is known for its prestigious public art auctions, a significant part of its business is brokering private deals directly between buyers and sellers. Those private sales are a particularly shrouded corner of the art market, where work changes hands through dealers such as Sotheby’s and identities are concealed on both sides of the purchase.

"Often an owner will have no idea to whom they are selling, and the buyer little clue from where the art is coming. Sometimes works are never even displayed — instead living in storage, passing from hand to hand.


" "For private sales Sotheby’s dealers search for works their clients are seeking, working internally to find willing sellers and negotiate a price. Emails showed Valette asking a colleague to have her client name a price for a RenĂ© Magritte painting that Bouvier wanted. While the painting had initially been estimated by Sotheby’s to be worth less than $10mn based on previous auction data, the client was willing to part with it for $25mn. Bouvier purchased it from Sotheby’s for $24mn, and sold it to Rybolovlev shortly afterwards for $43.5mn."

No comments: