On November 14, 2017 a painting thought by scholars to be one of only a few by Leonardo Da Vinci to have survived the half-millennia since the artist’s death sold at auction for $450.3 million. After 19 minutes of dueling between five bidders the hammer went down to an unprecedented price that broke records and set a new tone for Art Auction houses around the globe.
As the news spread like wild fire; social media platforms and the blogosphere at large took notice, and #auction became a trending topic. A new generation that is mostly interested in experiences, was momentarily captivated by the world of art auction. Although, most were able to associate the record shattering sale to secretive bidders, hammers and behind the scenes whispering, no one could really articulate the alluring thrill that is the Art Auction. This moment in history provided a unique opportunity for a new generation to be introduced to the world of art, but what is an art auction?
For centuries art auctions were how art was traded among society’s elite. However in the first decades of the 1900s an emerging class of collectors and dealers began frequenting small auctions, attended primarily by those who understood the market. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the art auction house entered the cultural consciousness and began impacting the contemporary art market, peaking in 1973 with the record-breaking auction of Robert and Ethel Scull’s renowned collection of Modern and Pop Art masterpieces. The bustling economy of the 80’s was particularly good for Art Auctions with art collections being seen as a status symbol. Interest in the art bidding market seemed to slow down in the early 1990s but since then it has been slowly re-building, and a new generation of collectors has emerged on a global scale.
In today’s market an art auction continues to be an exciting and attainable way of purchasing art, with the simple rule that if you really want something then you pay more than anyone else. If you are ready to make the leap and join and extraordinary world of art bidding and acquiring unique art you need to get up to speed with certain terms that get the art auction going. You might have loosely heard of these terms but here at Martin Lawrence Galleries, we would like to add a little more substance to what you already know.
This is a beautiful glamorized artistic brochure that the auction house sends to collectors and other interested parties like you to promote the artwork and increase interest on the artwork for sale. The catalog provides information, estimates, lot number, and a unique insight on the works being presented at the auction.
If you received the Auction catalogue and you made it to a Martin Lawrence Auction you will learn that the lot is just as important as the name of the artwork. The lot is the term for the work at issue in a particular round of bidding, and it is denoted by a “lot” number.
A bidder card at a Martin Lawrence Gallery auction is equivalent to the classical “Bidding paddle” and it is your bidding tool, and your voice within the auction. This numbered instrument can be used to bid or outbid on an artwork that you are really interested in, and it is just as good as your word.
The buyer’s premium is a percentage added to the final sale price. The money that the auction house makes with this premium is intended to pay for any services that the buyer receives from purchasing the art, such as attending the auction hosted by the auction house, shipping and handling of the item, and dealing with paperwork on behalf of the buyer and more.
Once you enter the wonderful world of an art auction and you have a range of what you’d be willing to bid; looking into the auction houses policies and protocols is necessary to be prepared. When you enter an art auction and people begin bidding, they will incrementally increase the price after every bid. If you’re intrigued by the thrill of the auction, we encourage you discover more about Martin Lawrence’s Spring 2018 auction.