Sotheby’s is about to hold a sale of Aboriginal and Oceanic art in Australia. The market is threatened by the revelations that a substantial portion of buyers have been using Aboriginal art as an investment asset. Sotheby’s scrapped their previous A$5,000 minimum for works, according to The Australian:
Sotheby’s might have the last laugh yet when it reveals today in Sydney almost 350 paintings and artefacts with an upper estimate of $6.21 million for its first Aboriginal and Oceanic art auction for the year.
The sale will be held over two days in Melbourne from July 26 but it will have to do exceptionally well to surpass the company’s record-setting 2007 Aboriginal art auction, which fetched $8.2m.
Sotheby’s head of Aboriginal art, Tim Klingender, said scrapping the threshold “was a business decision because it’s a great area of the market that it brings in new buyers who hopefully in time will turn into major collectors”.
Less is More: Sotheby’s Hope for Indigenous Art (The Australian)