The news last week that Christie’s International will close Haunch of Venison, the gallery it bought in 2007, electrified the art world. Christie’s and Sotheby’s are the twin behemoths of the global auction business, and Christie’s acquisition of Haunch six years ago was a galumphing step onto the turf of dealers. The war of the auctioneers and the dealers over their slice of the secondary or resale market had been underway for two decades, but the Haunch move was a move into the primary market, which handles working artists and new art. Read More
Two Fridays ago, just before the art world split for the holiday break, news broke that has had even market insiders, in vacation spots from St. Moritz to St. Barts to Aspen, scratching their heads: Simon de Pury, who has been very much the public face of the Phillips de Pury & Co. auction house for the past 12 years as chairman and head auctioneer, was parting ways with the company, effective immediately. Mercury, the Russian luxury goods firm that bought a majority stake in the company in late 2008, had acquired Mr. de Pury’s remaining shares, a press release announced. In January, the 200-plus-year-old company’s name will go back to Phillips. An e-mail sent to art world colleagues by Mr. de Pury’s wife, Michaela Neumeister, a specialist at Phillips for 12 years, indicated that she, too, was departing. Read More
Sotheby’s announced today that it lost $32.6 million in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, compared to a $29.7 million loss in the same period last year. It attributed part of the increase to an $11.6 million tax benefit in 2011 that didn’t occur again this year. Read More
Despite some high-flying successes for Sotheby’s this year, like the sale of Edvard Munch’s The Scream for a record-breaking $119.9 million, the house’s profits in the second quarter declined 33 percent compared with those realized during the same period last year. The result reflects a “challenging global economy,” according to the firm’s president and CEO, Bill Ruprecht. Read More
James Murdoch will leave the board of Sotheby’s auction house, the company revealed in a recent report to the Securities and Exchange Commission. Read More
It was a good year for the publicly traded Sotheby’s auction house, its press reps announced today, reporting income of $171.4 million, a number higher than any other year with the exception of 2007, when it earned $213.1 million.
Here are some other facts that Sotheby’s included in its release:
– 793 lots made more Read More
After a grueling but extremely unscientific analysis, as well as much heated debate, we’ve determined that the image at left may well be the funniest one ever to appear in an auction catalogue, and that it offers solid evidence, if any was needed, that auction house specialists are far from the dry, pretentious characters depicted in movies and television shows. In fact, their senses of humor would, by all appearances, seem to be intact. Read More
Sotheby’s, the only major publicly traded auction house, announced that it lost $29.7 million in the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, compared to a $19.4 million loss during the same period last year.
The branch of Citigroup Inc. dedicated to researching investment options for clients (the Investment Research Division) has begun monitoring Sotheby’s, the company announced yesterday. Citigroup will partner with art research groups like Artvest and Skate’s Art Market Research, along with its own Private Bank Art Advisory Team on the venture.
“Artvest believes that the health Read More