Jonathan Green, director, Richard Green
We have been pricing our pictures for the last few years because we feel that transparency is the modern way of art dealing.
It helps the buyer in a lot of ways. They might have a budget in their mind and showing prices means they won’t be embarrassed when they engage with us. It gives them a clear view of what we offer and the sort of prices we ask for our works.
As with any commercial interactions, potential buyers do not want to go up and ask the price for pieces. It’s a pain for them.
Also, it helps give buyers a sense of security about who we are – lack of transparency can lead to a sort of suspicion from clients.
We want to compete with auction houses, which are transparent, and if they chose to be so, why can’t we?
We also want to compete with other dealers. Sometimes dealers might try to undercut our prices, but a lot of times we’ve found our works are more competitively priced since we own everything that we sell.
At the same time it has helped cut down on negotiating. We still do negotiate but putting prices alongside our works shows that we’ve thought about the value of each piece.
“We feel that transparency is the modern way of art dealing
Benedict Tomlinson, director, Robilant + Voena
We deal at the highest level of Old Master, 19th century, modern and contemporary art. During the past 12 years we have exhibited pre-eminent works at leading art fairs around the world, and presenting the most distinguished works by the greatest masters is central to our international reputation.
It would be contrary to our principles to disclose our prices to galleries that deal in the same artists, but not the same quality of works.
Advertising prices can prevent an initial dialogue with a potential client, who otherwise might not initiate a conversation with the person at the fair stand.
We deal in niche artworks and the commercial value of our collection does not necessarily need to be made public.
Placing the price on an artwork would, in fact, shift the attention and make price the main criterion for the evaluation of the work, rather than the work itself.
Finally, we trade in several currencies and we don’t want to be compromised due to fluctuations in exchange rates in these uncertain economic conditions, having to adjust the labels constantly.
When you consider the complexity of the elements and knowledge needed to understand a work, one can understand our decision to not disclose the price.
“Advertising prices can prevent an initial dialogue with a potential client