The Easel

Profit Flop at Sotheby’s: Auction Houses’ Self-Defeating Assumption of Consignors’ Risk

One for art market buffs. Auction houses offer price guarantees to snare prestigious consignments and then share the price risk with others. Are such complex arrangements wise? Only, it seems, if stellar prices are realized. Either way, lovers of auction room drama lose out. Big ticket sales are often “pre-orchestrated charades … The thrill is gone”. (Jargon warning)