The UK press is leaning very hard on both auction houses. First, the Times of London claimed Christie’s was considering a significant reduction of its New Bond Street crew (Christie’s called the numbers premature); now, the Financial Times floats the idea at Sotheby’s:
Various departments have been told to justify their staffing, and possibly their existence, and have until the end of February when the culling process will be complete.
The rumor mongering does add to the importance of the London sales that begin in less than two week’s time. It is then that we will begin to see whether London’s recently acquired position as the pivot point of the global art market is likely to be maintained.
Hammer Falls (Financial Times)