FRANCE: Francis Briest, France’s leading modern art auctioneer, has replaced Etude Tajan as the French member of International Auctioneers, becoming the tenth member of the worldwide auction grouping (alongside Lempertz of Cologne, the Vienna Dorotheum, Zurich’s Galerie Koller, Lawsons of Sydney, Swann Galleries of New York, Butterfields from California, Finarte Milan and Finarte Madrid).
Members of IA organised 1200 auctions in 2000, recording sales of £240m, and the group now claim a joint client base of 500,000, Etude Tajan left IA late last year, after becoming part of Bernard Arnault’s LVMH group alongside Phillips. Founder-members Bonhams also left IA after their link-up with Doyles.
Briest, the third largest Paris auction-firm* with sales of Fr183.4m (£17.8m) in 2000 (a jump of 47 per cent), began talks with IA last Autumn and shored up the move at a meeting of IA directors in Madrid on February 15-16, chaired by current IA President Henrik Hanstein of Lempertz.
Briest’s prime motive in joining IA is the possibility it offers him to sell in New York. “We lose a certain number because we don’t have an outlet at New York. If our clients push for New York, we’ll respect that.” Foreign buyers accounted for half of all sales at Briest in 2000, with one-quarter from the US and Switzerland, and a further 25 per cent from EU residents. (The buy-in rate at Briest was also a reported 25 per cent, in both value and lot terms.)
* Briest are preceded by Etude Tajan, who recorded sales of Fr567m (£55m) in 2000, up 21 per cent, and the Piasa group, up 37 per cent on Fr385m (£37.4m).
Other members of the 2000 Paris Top Ten: Poulain-Le Fur – Fr172m (£16.7m); Millon & Associés – Fr166m (£16.1m); Calmels-Chambre-Cohen – Fr132m (£12.8m); De Ricqles – Fr111m (£10.8m); Gros-Delettrez – Fr106m (£10.3m); Aguttes – Fr98m (£9.5m); Rieunier-Bailly-Pommery – Fr88m (£8.5m).
• All figures include premium.