Antique dealers hammer Sotheby's online auction
Saturday 30 January 1999
Leading dealers have been approached by the auction house and offered incentives to supply art, antiques and jewellery for the revolutionary sales.
The British art and antique dealers were made an offer on commission if they agreed to work only with Sotheby's for the next two or three years. They have to sign within seven days.
The British Antique Dealers' Association has now written to its members, warning them to be cautious of the offer as other opportunities should arise as "virtual auctions" take off in the UK.
Sotheby's New York office is spearheading the company's global move into Internet auctions.
The announcement last week immediately boosted the business's share price and follows the success of other online auctioneers such as eBay in the States. Diana Brooks, president of Sotheby's Holdings, said: "It is clear that the Internet is superbly suited for holding auctions."
Some critics claim that if Sotheby's succeeds, they would have a virtual monopoly before rivals Christie's follow suit later in the year.
One antiques dealer said yesterday that the Sotheby's deal was "outrageous and very uncompetitive. There aren't enough of these goods for normal auctions and virtual auctions as well so they need to get the dealers on board. If they do, they know Christie's won't have a chance when they start."
As goods will not be examined by the auctioneers in the way they would be in a normal auction, it is understood that Sotheby's will rely on dealers with good reputations supplying items for sale. Most dealers sell on some old stock through auction houses.
Elaine Dean, of the British Antique Dealers' Association, said the proposition was an "interesting" one that they had to take seriously.
But she said: "We are urging our members to be cautious before they sign up for something for three years. We do feel that seven days isn't very long to sign quite an extensive contract. We're saying be careful."
An art trade insider said the Sotheby's offer seemed to have outraged many of the dealers. "They feel they are being pushed around. I don't think it has gone down too well."
David Redden, an executive vice-president of Sotheby's, said it was investing more than pounds 15m in the service and needed to ensure it had enough property to sell. The dealers he had spoken to were very excited by their offer.
Christopher Davidge, chief executive officer at Christie's, said details of their plans would be revealed on 1 March. But he said: "Christie's will not be proposing any arrangements that restrict competition in the marketplace, as we believe this runs counter to the philosophy of the Internet."
- 1 Reyhaneh Jabbari: Iran due to execute woman for murder of her alleged attempted rapist
- 2 Expert urges cat lovers to own just one animal each
- 3 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 4 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 5 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
The Aral Sea: Nasa pictures show how what was once the fourth largest lake in the world has become almost completely dry
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£100 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Science Teacher - South Es...
£85 - £125 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Secondary teachers re...
£28000 - £30000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: A highly successfully con...