La Biennale Dealers Offered Christie's Sale Instead

June 9 2020

Image of La Biennale Dealers Offered Christie's Sale Instead

Picture: Luxus Plus

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Interesting news in the Antiques Trade Gazette today that dealers who were due to exhibit at the now cancelled La Biennale Paris in September will be offering artworks in an online sale at Christie's instead. Objects will range from antiquities to contemporary art in this special sale to help support the fifty dealers who are usually involved in the fair.

The fair's president and fellow dealer Georges de Jonckheere is quoted saying:

La Biennale Paris is an event organised by dealers for dealers.  It is essential that we support the profession in this unprecedented crisis with new and appropriate initiatives. Christie’s wide reach and extensive capacities worldwide will bring great visibility to dealers and will enable them to reach out to new collectors.

One imagines that the successful Rafael Valls and Danny Katz sales at Sotheby's may have demonstrated that close collaboration between dealers and auction houses can produce impressive results during these unprecedented times.

I wonder exactly how estimates will be negotiated. Selling artworks wholesale, which is how auction houses operate, usually strips off a lot of the mark-up that dealers often place on works. Auction house specialists attending big fairs such as TEFAF must delight in reminding collectors of the savings they could have made if they had purchased so-and-so when it was originally offered in their rooms.

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