The Art of the Islamic and Indian Worlds auction, to take place on 7 April 2011, will feature 400 lots from a wide variety of geographical regions, materials, and time periods. Highlights include a bronze gazelle sculpted in the late tenth or early eleventh century, which is estimated to fetch up to a million pounds (USD). Another highlight is a 16th century gold and turquoise-hilted sword that is an exquisite work of jewelled metalwork from the golden age of Ottoman art.
The auction of art is not without its downsides. The sale of a collection can break the bond between the collector and the home, and the experience of attending an auction may frighten and distress a prospective collector. After all, the experience of a previous auction may have left a collector wondering whether or not their own collection would ever come to an end.
Collectors are increasingly opting to buy works at auctions rather than at art galleries, largely because of the ease of the buying process, transparency into demand, and the availability of free secondary-market data. Moreover, they can get high-quality works at affordable prices. One such example is the case of Alan Lo, a Hong Kong restaurateur who had previously missed the opportunity to acquire a painting by Nigerian artist John Madu. While it took him a long time to get the painting through the primary market, Lo was lucky enough to find it at auction.
While the primary auction is a private event, the auction of art is often open to the public. In some instances, a ticket may be required for entry, but most art auctions are open to the public. For this reason, the artwork is usually installed or displayed prior to the main event, allowing potential bidders to view it prior to the auction.
Another benefit of the auction is that it is often possible to purchase works online. These online sales are a great way to reach a large international audience. Physical art fairs are often cancelled due to lack of attendance and travel, and online auctions are the only way to reach a global audience. Furthermore, buyers can return an art piece if it turns out to be defective, or not what they had expected.
Paintings are the most popular medium at auctions. The most renowned paintings often fetch record prices. Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi, for example, sold for 450 million dollars in 2017. Other record-breakers include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jackson Pollock, and Paul Gaugin. However, art auctions are not limited to big-name artists, and smaller auction houses will typically offer an auction catalog with a range of prices.
Auctions are an increasingly popular way to sell art. But they are not without risks. Some sellers of art end up getting burned in the process. The auction process is meant to establish the value of an object that is difficult to value. In the U.S., the law provides a consumer right to cancel a contract within a specified amount of time if they are not satisfied with the price. There are also legal guidelines that can protect the auctioned art.