News & Views

Dutch & Flemish masterpieces

25 May 2018

As a prelude to Sotheby’s Old Master Evening Sale in London on July 4,  a selection of Dutch and Flemish masterpieces will be exhibited at Sotheby’s Gallery in Hong Kong from May 25-28.

“Together [the works] tell the story of one of most important moments in the history of Western Art: The Golden Age of Dutch and Flemish Art,” states a press release by the auction house.


Dutch or Flemish: the difference

Portrait of Picasso's beloved muse for auction

22 May 2018

Pablo Picasso’s Buste de femme de profil. Femme écrivant is the highlight of Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale in London on June 19.

In a press release, Sotheby’s impressionist and modern art department global co-head & Sotheby’s Europe chairman Helena Newman says, “This tender and romantic vision of Marie-Thérèse is a remarkably intimate portrait of the woman who has come to embody the heart and soul of the most celebrated year of Picasso’s oeuvre."

Heritage and culture connect

22 May 2018

Malaysia has always claimed pride to having a multi-ethnic society. Petronas gallery celebrates this with an exhibition that is an eclectic mix of visual art, complemented with traditional instruments and indigenous craft. Visual Dialects: Cultural Ties That Bind brings together 43 artists, each of whom presents a piece of his/her personal life. There are six segments, five of which are categorised according to Malaysian states. The last segment is dedicated to black and white photography.

Misunderstanding effects of buyer’s premiums …

17 May 2018

A buyer’s premium is a surcharge paid on top of the hammer price at an auction. For example, with a 10% buyer’s premium, a $1,000 hammer price (Sold! for $1,000) would require the buyer to pay $1,100 ($1,000 + 10%) to the auctioneer/seller.

Some auctions/auctioneers charge a buyer’s premium, and some do not. There is no right or wrong about charging a buyer’s premium — but the constant contention that few people (and only insignificant people) are deterred from an auctioneer/auction that charges one misses the much bigger picture.

Seller bidding beyond reserve?

15 May 2018

We start today with the fact there are [only] two types of auctions. Just as state law dictates all across the United States, we noted as such here:

The right for the seller to bid — outside of a forced sale — is dictated by which type of auction is being conducted. In a "with reserve" auction, the seller may bid and in a "without reserve" auction, the seller may not bid.

How do we know online bidders are real?

4 May 2018

This is a question we get on a somewhat regular basis … “How do we know online bidders are real?” What is my answer with little or no other information? “We don’t.” However, it’s good to look at the big picture here.

Such a bird’s-eye view of this issue would include questions such as, “How do we know that live bidder is real?” “How do we know that car salesman’s final price is his final price?” “Do we know that was really orange roughy?” “How do we know … anything for sure?