The New York Times is touting the rising price points at Paddle8 as a sign of change in the auction marketplace. The Times is especially interested that lots over $100,000 are selling there which may be significant just in the fact that the middle market doesn’t really start until you get into six figures these days.
But the short piece highlights something more pressing to the over-stuffed auctions, the level of constant demand from buyers. Both Christie’s and Sotheby’s have expanded their entry-level Contemporary art sales to include more dates with First Open and Contemporary Curated. Here, Graham Bowley suggests the internet’s appeal is to make more work available at more times:
Paddle8 is selling 72 works from the collection of the Swiss-based collector Bibi Gritti, until June 15. It features 10 works valued at more than $100,000.
“Four years in, and this is a natural progression for us,” Ms. Brambilla said. She said consignors like that a virtual auction can be arranged at relatively short notice: Sellers don’t have to follow the fixed auction timetables of the traditional auction houses. Ms. Gritti, who said she had previously never bought or sold any art through the web, said the online house was more willing to put its efforts behind selling all her offerings, including those at lower prices, and not just cherry-picking the best ones. “They could also bring the collection to auction in a fraction of the time,” she said.
Paddle8, Art Auction Site, Sees Growth (NYTimes.com)