Melanie Gerlis has what might seem a small story, at first, but one with big implications as the UK moves toward establishing itself outside of the European Union.
Artcurial rode the interest in classic cars to move to the top of the heap in Paris nudging out both Christie’s and Sotheby’s. It remains to be seen how the UK will fare as an global auction center if consignors have to pay extra taxes to sell through London.
At the very least, the sale rooms in Paris should see a rise in volume as intra-European sales gravitate there (though the rise of Paris as an auction center has been anticipated for a nearly a decade now without much dramatic growth:)
For the first time since it was founded in 2002, Artcurial, headquartered in Paris, has come top of the table for the opening six months of 2016. Its total sales of €117.5m (excluding VAT on its commissions) just beat Christie’s equivalent €112.3m and Sotheby’s €107m.
Classic cars continue to flatter Artcurial’s top line: in February it sold a 1957 Ferrari 335 Sport Scaglietti for €28m (€32.1m with fees). Some fine art with local connections also sold well. Giovanni Boldini’s swirling Parisian scene, ‘A l’Opéra de Paris’ (1886), went for more than seven times its estimate for €370,000 (€460,600 with fees) in March. The bulk (80 per cent) of Artcurial’s high-end sales go to buyers overseas, according to vice-president Fabien Naudan.
The Art Market: Oh you pretty things (FT.com)