The artist or artist’s estate receives a ‘royalty’ when the item that they once produced is sold on.
In which other world does this happen? If I were an architect, I might design a wonderful house (that I perceive as a work of art), but am I to receive a percentage as it sells to new owners further down the line?
Does Volvo receive a commission when one of its cars changes hands?
When the artist manufactures an item, they decide to sell it at a price of their choosing. They no longer have any title over this object – as with the architect’s house or the car.
The royalty received by a musician is quite a different scenario because the music is played publicly and there is commerciality and entertainment attached to its output.
Art changes hands between two parties, and whether done privately or at auction, it is a sale of private goods, not entertainment.
I fail to see the sense of this peculiar penalty on the art market, while the advantages of getting rid of ARR in a post-Brexit UK would be numerous.
To those ATG subscribers reading this in the chambers of Westminster: please pass it on to the relevant parties!
Ben Rogers Jones
Auctioneer and partner
Rogers Jones & Co