Information about Art, Antiques and Auctions in Ireland and around the world
  • About Des
  • Contact

    Is the future of the art and antiques market forever changed or is this just a temporary blip?   The answer probably lies somewhere between each of these positions. When the pandemic lockdown was implemented it appeared everything would revert once it was lifted.  Now it is apparent that this is not so.  Covid-19 has not gone away. We will have to live with sensible precautions like social distancing for some time, even as the restrictions are eased.The auction houses of Ireland and everywhere else are in uncharted waters.  Social distancing is not possible at busy viewings as we knew them, nor in crowded auction rooms. New ways to keep the business afloat must be found. Technology is an obvious answer but it is not for everyone or everything.  Early indications from online sales around the world are that millennials are happier to buy online than the older billionaires who populate the  global contemporary art market.  Whether auction houses are prepared to sell big ticket items online is as yet far from clear.  The number of private sales has been growing in latter years.

    Christie’s and Phillips have consolidated their Impressionist, Modern and Contemporary art sales into one 20th century week in New York – to include the London sales – scheduled at this stage for the end of June. Sotheby’s has yet to announce what  is to become of its contemporary marquee sale scheduled for May 13 in New York.  This sale was to be anchored by Francis Bacon’s Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus with an estimate of at least $60 million. Sotheby’s has announced that the week long Spring Hong Kong series will now take place from July 5-11 in Hong Kong.  The auctions cover Chinese ceramics and paintings, modern and contemporary art, jewellery, watches and wine.

    Meantime the full online sales programme by the biggest auction houses is drawing enthusiastic participation from collectors. These sales have been expanded significantly across numerous categories.

    Nude, a lithograph by Henri Matisse, made €3,800 at hammer at Morgan O’Driscoll’s online sale this week.

    Comments are closed.