Colin Gleadell explains the mystery of Charles Saatchi’s art sales outside his agreement with Phillips de Pury:
Charles Saatchi is to send some of his contemporary Chinese art collection for sale in China, while in London he has placed other works, including Martin Kippenberger’s Paris Bar, worth between £1million and £1.5million, with Christie’s for sale in October. Does that mean his exclusive arrangement with Phillips de Pury, in which the auctioneers sponsor free entrance to the Saatchi gallery in return for works for sale from the collection, has come to an end?
Not at all, says a spokesman for Mr Saatchi. The sales in China, as yet to be decided, cannot be conducted by Phillips because no Western auctioneer can practise in China. As far as Christie’s is concerned, the spokesman said, the sales are to settle “obligations we already had”.