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As well as agreeing to promote the fairs with “appropriate Olympia Antiques Fair publicity materials” in Sotheby’s Olympia auction catalogues, most significantly the auctioneers reveal that their staff have been briefed not to give opinions on dealer stock being shown at fairs.

The memo, which was sent out by Sotheby’s Olympia managing director Paul Sumner last week, shows the auction firm following up on their promise to support the trade and avoid clashing with fairs.

Of the policy on expert opinions, the memo states:
“It is Sotheby’s general policy that Sotheby’s staff may not provide opinions or estimates in connection with any transaction in which Sotheby’s is not involved. For example, if a client asks a Sotheby’s specialist an opinion regarding a potential purchase from a fair participant, such staff will be reminded that it would be inappropriate for us to provide an estimate or opinion without the consent of the seller.”

The memo also restates Sotheby’s belief that the combination of auctions and fairs at Olympia “will strengthen and improve Olympia’s position as THE venue for the art market”, while reaffirming that the auction house have “absolutely no wish or reason to seek to detract from or undermine this very active market place”.