Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Sotheby’s Launches Live Auctions On eBay By Anny Shaw

Collectors can take part in sales streamed online from April.
Irving Penn's portrait of Pablo Picasso is among the works for sale in Sotheby's first auction of Modern and contemporary photography on eBay

The online retail giant eBay today launched a new section of its website dedicated to live auctions at Sotheby’s. Modern and contemporary photographs by Man Ray, Paul Strand and László Moholy-Nagy are among the works for sale in the first auction, which will be streamed live on 1 April. The second sale of New York memorabilia, which includes a ten-foot-tall sign from Yankee Stadium from the collection of the basketball player Reggie

Jackson (est $300,000-$600,000), takes place on 2 April. Collectors can now browse the platform and place bids in advance of the sales.
All auctions at Sotheby's New York, apart from its big, biannual evening sales in May and November, are due to be broadcast on eBay, allowing 155 million monthly users to bid on works of art, antiques and fine wines, among other categories. There are plans to extend the model to Sotheby's salerooms around the world.

While auction houses have offered online auctions for several years, the art trade has been slower than most industries to embrace the internet. However, that is changing rapidly. In 2014, Sotheby’s had nearly 25% more buyers online than the previous year, and the amount people are prepared to part with over the internet is also rising. Last year, ten lots sold for more than $500,000 to online bidders across categories. 

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