On July 20, the National Assembly passed a law reforming and liberalizing public auction in France. The implementing decree came into force on 1 September and museums are the primary beneficiaries.
The changes may affect you
There are still a few weeks, the auctioneers could not sell over the counter as already presented for auction lots and have not found a buyer above the reserve price, the famous debased in the jargon of the professionals. And yet, the sale of these paintings, art objects and antiques should be made at least the amount of the last bid and a maximum of 15 days which greatly limits the usefulness of this type of purchase.
Since September 1, auctioneers with the help of experts may, in agreement with the seller, offer works directly to a potential buyer without it passes through the fire auction.
This has several advantages for the seller:
- The work is unknown in the market.
- The seller may adjust its prices.
- In case of failure of the transaction, it is possible to present the picture, sculpture or furniture at auction.
Finally if unsold, the owner of a work of art can accept that the auctioneer sells the out of court for less than the last auction.
Reform in July allows French auction houses to play on equal terms with London or New York auction houses for many years may make this type of sale.
It allows you to make direct contact the seller and the buyer often a museum or major collector and above, the transaction does not receive any advertising contrary to what happens when sales cataloged in which the works were photographed and released up to be sold at the best price.
Trial run with several medieval works of art
On 16 November, Christie's Paris disperse the collection of the late Prosper Victor Martin Le Roy, a great collector of medieval art from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century.
Given the importance of some sculptures and enamels, obtaining certificates of free movement, permission to leave the country for works of art, would surely be impossible for several rooms. It is therefore natural that with its experience in both London and Hong Kong as the auction house offered the French museums to purchase some lots out of court.
The Louvre is enriched at the end of the sale of a pair of gilt bronze high relief of the twelfth century and an ivory Christ circa 1300-1310, while the Cluny Museum receives a processional cross made of copper and enamel polychrome.
This new law should meet the sellers, buyers and auctioneers expectancy and should allow France and Paris to win back market share.
With their knowledge of objects and their network of auctioneers, collectors and museums, consultancies are your main contact to guide you in this type of transaction that the seller offers additional privacy.
Each month, we organise auctions of fine continental furniture, antique clocks and works of art with our network of auctioneers. We invite you to contact us if you wish to include lots in our future sale. Valuations are free for auction.
If you need an appraisal for sale, insurance or inheritance, please contact us.
Cedric Henon, Continental furniture and works of art specialist.