Panter and Hall Decorative of London is among this number, and recently completed a timed online sale of Mid-century Swedish paintings (which ran March 30-April 11). It is the firm’s sixth since launching online auctions last summer, and for dealer Matthew Hall, these sales offer a practical and even enjoyable solution to a growing problem.
While he estimates selling around 500-600 pictures a year “I buy 1000. The storage is killing me. It’s a valve for our storage.”
There are several advantages to this system, he adds. First, it is a way to unload items at lower price points (few pieces are estimated at more than £300). Second, it is fairly straightforward. All the auctions are timed, which means that the manpower required is comparatively low. Third, it encourages people to the gallery, offering viewings in the firm’s Cecil Court premises. Finally, Hall says, “it’s fun”.
“It adds a new dimension to the experience of buying, which isn’t a replacement of what we do. It’s a little bit like Christie’s having private sales”, he adds.
For now, the sales are open only to existing clients, but the system is evolving gradually. The latest auction was the last where Panter and Hall will offer free registration before it shoots up to £3.99.
Meanwhile, Antikbar Original Vintage Posters, a London gallery has been running auctions since 2014 and is gearing up for its spring sale on April 22.
According to dealer Kirill Kalinin, “at first there was some concern that it would impact on the dealership, but people differentiate quite well between the two”.
Originally a way to sell on “stale” stock, he then started accepting consignments, and the firm now holds sales across four platforms. “It’s a way to sell and advertise at the same time”, Kalinin adds.