News & Views

The Sophisticated Art Patron

19 April 2019

Malaysia’s preeminent art patron and collector, Zain Azahari, launches the third volume of Hati & Jiwa: The Zain Azahari Collection

A gentleman with an immense appetite for collecting works of art, Zain Azahari Zainal Abidin, also known as Pak Zain, has amassed an incredible number of artworks — over 1,000 paintings and sculptures by notable Southeast Asian and international artists. Now 84, he began his lifelong journey of art collecting in the 1960s.

Auctioneers, Alpha and Beta and more …

1 April 2019

In 2010, we modeled a formula for finding the odds of the most interested bidder (Alpha) and the second most interested bidder (Beta) attending an auction. We searched for that formula since all auctioneers really need are the highest bidder and the second highest bidder.

What is a flash [auction] sale?

28 March 2019

I received the email, as I suspect you did. Real property being offered in a flash sale — auction. What is a flash [auction] sale?

Generally in commerce, flash sales are deep[er] discounts on limited quantities for a short period of time. Presumably a flash [auction] sale is where the seller has lowered his required reserve therefore allowing buyers to purchase for less?

An auction that is both with AND without reserve?

20 March 2019

There are times that I think maybe overnight I was secretly transported to another planet. I wake up and on this new frontier and hear people saying that an auction can be both “with reserve” and “without reserve” at the same time.

A President and shill bidding

6 March 2019

We have discussed shill bidding many times. We’ve never, however, discussed the President of the United States and shill bidding at the same time — until now. Our background on this story comes from Vox.

Exquisite art coming up for sale

5 March 2019

The Edge Auction 2019 has on offer highly desirable and collectible artworks by top Malaysian artists as well as leading contemporary artists from Southeast Asia


The seventh edition of The Edge Auction will see 105 lots comprising modern and contemporary Southeast Asian artworks go under the hammer on March 17. The cover lot, Kambing Hitam (2009), is a painting by Malaysian contemporary artist Hamir Soib @ Mohamed and has an estimated price of between RM80,000 and RM150,000.

When is a seller’s bid a shill bid?

28 February 2019

Some auctions allow the seller to place bids directly or through another agent (by proxy.) Specifically, in a with reserve auction and any type of forced sale, the seller can bid. Our question today involves if any of this seller bidding would — or could — be considered shill bidding.

What is shill bidding? Shill bidding is generally any bidding which lacks the “genuine intent to purchase” and rather bidding in order to falsely advocate for the seller or otherwise entice others to believe such bidding is genuine and can be used to gauge value.

Live, online-only or simulcast?

26 February 2019

Many say that the live auction, online-only auction and simulcast auction are “tools in the toolbox” where auctioneers choose the right tool for the job. Here’s our opinion where each of these tools is suitable.

First, is an auction (live, simulcast and/or online-only) suitable at all? Generally, we have held that auctions are suitable [only] when the seller has sufficient equityurgency and reasonable expectations; otherwise, maybe some other method of sale may be more appropriate.