Friday, June 30, 2006

Another $140 million? (UPDATED)

Bloomberg reports that, fresh off their $135 million Klimt sale, the Bloch-Bauer heirs may be selling the four other Klimts they recently recovered from the Austrian government -- for a total of $140 million or more:

"The heirs will probably consign their other Klimts to the candidates who put the highest value on the pictures, and perhaps guarantee a minimum price to the family and forgo some commissions, experts said. At an auction, the rewards for selling $140 million of art would be huge, even if the family paid no fees. Buyers at Christie's and Sotheby's pay a commission of 20 percent on the first $200,000 and 12 percent on the rest."

I previously discussed auction house minimum guarantees here.

UPDATE: I just noticed this related story from last week at The Art Newspaper ("Fierce competition to secure consignments leads to 'suicide deals'"), noting that "auction houses are independently agreeing not only to drop the vendor’s premium to nil, but to kick back part—sometimes most—of the buyer’s premium to consignors as well. Amounts of up to 80% are rumoured. The practice is sometimes known by the shorthand 'IC', which stands for 'introductory commission'."