Monday, January 20, 2014


The NYT's Graham Bowley had a good piece last week on the practice known as "enhanced hammer" -- where, in addition to waiving the seller's commission, the auction houses are also giving consignors part of the buyer's premium as well.  Felix Salmon adds his usual interesting commentary, pointing out that, in a case where the seller gets to keep all of the buyer's premium (as apparently happened with Peter Brant's recent sale of "Balloon Dog"), it opens up the possibility that the seller could be the buyer of his own work:  "If Brant was the high bidder, the total cost to him of selling the work would have been tiny, compared to the benefit he got in terms of personal reputation and the increased value of other works in his collection."