Occasional contributor and Australian art market commentator and participant sends this story from the Australian Art Sales Digest about his new venture:
From the Australian Art Sales Digest 27th August 2010
Commercial art gallery Michael Reid at Elizabeth Bay has established a trans-Tasman art alliance with Webb’s, New Zealand’s premier auction house, after talks over the last two months.
Webb’s is 49% owned by major shareholder, Mowbray Collectables Ltd, which has been listed on the New Zealand stock exchange since 1993.
Mowbray Collectables Ltd. also has a 20% shareholding in First East Auction Holdings Pty. Ltd., whihc owns 100% of Second East Auction Holdings Pty. Ltd, the licencee holder of the Sothebys Australia franchise.
Michael Reid at Elizabeth Bay, in addition to representing Webb’s art auctions in Australia, will be working closely with the auction house to position contemporary New Zealand art- through private treaty sale- into the Australian market.
Conversely, those Australian collectors interested in consigning New Zealand and Australian art to the Kiwi / Australia market may be encouraged by a relatively modest sellers commission; the ease of shipping and an absence of a resale royalty in New Zealand.
Webb’s, in common with all New Zealand auction houses, charges buyer’s premium at a lower rate than most Australian auction houses. For Webb’s, buyer’s premium is set at 12.5% compared with 20% for the top tier Australian auction auctions.
Michael Reid said art buyers and sellers can expect significant and creative collaborations in Australia, involving New Zealand contemporary art & Oceanic artefacts. The first event is expected to involve a New York based collection in mid October, but details have not yet been made public.
Although gallery principals have in the past acted as local representatives and hosted sale viewings for Australian and New Zealand auction houses, this is the first business alliance between the traditional competitors of auction house and dealer.