HUGE mistake by Sotheby’s !!!
It has recently come to my attention that Sotheby’s in the UK have introduced a minimum value for works that they will auction of £3000 which is in line with their move away from the middle-range auctions with the discontinuation of their lower-value Kensington Olympia sales to concentrate on the top end of the market. Beyond the fact that Sotheby’s are trailing behind Christies in market share there are many reasons why Sotheby’s are making a huge mistake, such as:
-Sotheby’s already have a reputation as a bit of a snobby company so by introducing a minimum value they are alienating potential future clients.
-It is quite common for clients of auction houses to have lesser value works of art to sell as well as high value works so Sotheby’s is in danger of loosing these clients.
-Many people who sell art through auction have artworks in their homes that they do not realise the value of so by having a minimum sale value Sotheby’s are severely limiting their access to clients who may unknowingly have major works in their posession.
I will certainly be interested to see whether this minimum value rule lasts!!
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectables for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.