It’s been a mainstay of the auction business that aristocrats provide connections to those with works that might eventually be sold as well as attracting the business of others who simply want to enjoy the experience of being close to ancient lineage.
Last week it was announced that the UK’s Princess Eugenie would join Paddle 8, the online auction platform here in New York to learn the ropes and eventually return to London to help set up the firm’s UK operations.
Georgina Adam responds to the news with a survey of the online art selling space:
The million-dollar question is the extent to which art sales will migrate onto the web, particularly at the high end. Inevitably, some of the founders of art sales sites believe, in an almost evangelistic way, that the web is the future and that even very high-priced works of art will eventually sell online. But not everyone agrees. While the volume market seems sure to grow, the high end will probably be more difficult to crack. Paddle8, for example, has decided to specialise in works under $100,000 and its average sale price is $10,000. Vroom of Artspace says that the “sweet spot” is $25,000- $30,000; after that, “you need human mediation”, meaning that you actually have to see the art before taking the plunge.