Sotheby’s and Christie’s may have exited the Australian auction market but that doesn’t seem to dampen the enthusiasm for native auctioneers to jump in with both fee:
Mossgreen, which has specialised in single-owner auctions, has opened new premises in Melbourne and will hold at least two domestic and international art sales next year. “I saw an opening when Sotheby’s was taken over by Tim Goodman and decided it was an opportunity, says Mossgreen director Paul Sumner, who is a former managing director of Sotheby’s Australia and Sotheby’s London at its Olympia rooms. There is also a Sotheby’s link in the appointment of Sydney art consultant Alison Renwick as head of Mossgreen’s new art department.
Meanwhile, the established players are jockeying for dominance:
Executive chairman Rod Menzies, a major collector in his own right, brought his Deutscher-Menzies and Lawson Menzies operations under Menzies Art Brands, establishing himself as the leading Australian auction house, although he will need to have a spectacularly successful sale in Sydney next week if he is to topple Sotheby’s from its position as this year’s market leader.
Menzies needs a sale of at least $7 million to finish ahead of Sotheby’s, which achieved a turnover of more than $24 million after its final sale for the year last month.
New Kid on the Auction Block (Herald Sun)