Colin Gleadell offers this precious moment from last week’s London sales:
Some frustration with reluctant bidders was evident at last week’s contemporary art sale at Sotheby’s when auctioneer Harry Dalmeny found no one prepared to bid for a magazine-and-newspaper collage by Albert Oehlen, whose large paintings can fetch six-figure sums. The collage, perhaps no more than a piece of ephemera, but signed and dated nonetheless, was estimated at £3,000 to £5,000, but Dalmeny could not solicit bids at £1,000, or, then, at £500. Finally he asked for just £100. “Our catalogue cost more than that you rude bunch,” he exploded, finally triggering a bid to a round of applause. “That’s how Saatchi started,” he offered bluffly to the bargain-buyer in the front row.
Old Masters Challenge to Contemporary Art (Telegraph)