Ex-Sotheby’s Heavyweights Launch New Online Art Auction Site – artmarketblog.com

theauctionroom Ex Sothebys Heavyweights Launch New Online Art Auction Site   artmarketblog.comTwo former high-ranking Sotheby’s employees have joined forces to launch a the online art auction venture The Auction Room, a middle-market venture catering to buyers and sellers of antiques, paintings, and other collectible items.

Founded by George Bailey and Lucinda Blythe, The Auction Room (http://theauctionroom.com) is the latest of a number of recently launched online art and antique sales sites such as Auctionata (http://auctionata.com), The Spotlist (thespotlist.com), Art Viatic (http://artviatic.com) and Blacklots  (which was taken over by VIP Art) that have been developed with a focus on combining the benefits of the big name bricks and mortar auction houses and galleries with the convenience of an online buying platform.

Key characteristics of these new hybrid ventures include access to highly regarded specialists from the auction world, guarantees of authenticity, in-the-flesh preview facilities and detailed condition reports – all the services and peace of mind you would expect from a traditional auction house or gallery but with sales conducted solely online.

According to George Bailey, founder of The Auction Room, “The Auction Room is launching with a mission to provide the best possible full service auction experience to its clients. By combining cutting-edge technology with our knowledge of the traditional auction market, we are confident we can provide a new and exciting platform for specialist auction sales. We will be able to deliver real value to our clients through our ability to offer shorter auction deadlines, competitive fees, faster settlement dates, and an efficient after-auction service. Our specialist team will inspect and catalogue all the lots we offer which will be sold with our guarantee of authenticity”

To confirm identity and ensure only reputable buyers and sellers take part in sales, The Auction Room requires that identification documents be submitted upon registration. This is a smart move as it will encourage greater confidence in the security and reliability of the site and the objects being sold.

Bids will be able to be placed online for a period of 48 hours before the day of the sale following which each lot will be the subject of a 40 second real time auction on the day of the sale when further bids can be placed.

The Auction Room site is well designed and well presented and has every chance of succeeding as long as they can encourage enough bidders to take part in their sales. A slick mobile phone and tablet platform will add to the usability of the site and encourage greater interaction.

Their first sale will be a sale of Jewellery, Watches and Wristwatches, Silver and Objects of Vertu due to be held on 4th, 5th and 6th June, 2013 followed by a sale of Chinese Ceramics and Works of Art as well as Middle Eastern Contemporary Art taking place on 24th June, 2013.

In other news, Paddle8 have developed a new silent auction platform that they claim enhances and streamlines the live auction experience. The platform will provide attendee registration with bidding paddles, silent auction bidding using our beautiful iPad app, and a sophisticated post-auction dashboard for collecting payment and arranging shipping.

**Nicholas Forrest is a Sydney/London based art market analyst, art consultant and writer.  He is the founder of the Art Market Blog (artmarketblog.com) which offers independent commentaries as well as research and analysis on the current art market, and has recently been published in Fabrik magazine, Verve magazine, Visual Art Beat magazine, Australian Art Collector magazine, Art & Investment magazine and many others.  Nic has made several radio appearances (both nationally and internationally) as an art market expert and has received press from the likes of the New York Times, Conde Nast Portfolio and Times of London.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/slim.yoga.3 Polar John

    Thanks for the post. Would not have heard of them before otherwise, but it doesn’t seem much like a joint venture. According to Companies House UK George Bailey owns 90% of the company while Lucinda Blythe owns 10% of it. Unfair. What do you think?

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