xi's moments
Home | Kaleidoscope

Auction houses move to digital platforms and give sales a boost

By BO LEUNG in London | China Daily Global | Updated: 2020-04-01 09:41

Gallery assistants pose for photographers during the photocall for 'Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus' by British painter Francis Bacon, with an estimate in excess of $60 million when it goes to auction in New York on May 13 2020, at Sotheby's auction house in London, Britain, March 6 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

Auction houses are shifting sales online as the novel coronavirus pandemic impacts the art and antique trade.

Auctions have been cancelled or postponed, but the likes of Sotheby's and Christie's have been reaching out to buyers through digital platforms and carrying out sales through online bidding.

According to the Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2020, online sales of art and antiques sale were estimated at $5.9 billion in 2019.

With many more collectors and art enthusiasts turning to digital platforms, auction house Christie's has revamped its online content across numerous collecting categories and launched several new initiatives.

Matthew Rubinger, deputy chief marketing officer at Christie's, said: "We recognize that art and objects are an important source of enrichment and enjoyment for so many, and our focus these last weeks has been on refreshing our digital offerings in several key areas."

Christie's said it had enhanced online viewings and new content will give viewers a chance to learn and enjoy works of art through educational videos and collector interviews. There is also a new series named Art as Therapy on its social media platforms.

A new calendar of online sales, such as the Impressionist and Modern Art private sale, will provide collectors with opportunities to bid and buy, the auction house said.

"Our goal is to ensure our doors remain open from a digital standpoint, so that our audiences across the world can continue to engage with us, whether that means learning more about their favorite collecting category, seeing a work of art in a virtual viewing room, or bidding on an item through our trusted online sale platform," Rubinger added.

Meanwhile, Sotheby's announced several of its spring auctions will be moved online. These sales include design, photographs, prints and multiples and contemporary art.

"These changes reflect Sotheby's commitment to providing our staff and clients with a safe environment, the requirements and goals of our consignors and buyers, and our responsibility to the international art market," Sotheby's said.

Charles F Stewart, Sotheby's CEO, said the auction house has invested heavily in technology to ensure the best digital tools in the marketplace, including proprietary online sale platform, which Sotheby's will be using to benefit and support clients.

The auction house will also launch an immersive digital catalogue for Contemporary Curated and Prints and Multiples, highlighting visual story telling through video and interactive media.

But it appears the ongoing coronavirus crisis has not dampened collector's appetite for certain works of art. Sotheby's London online auction of Banksy prints on Thursday totalled 1.1 million pounds ($1.4 million), exceeding the pre-sale estimate of 672,000 pounds.


Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349