Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Sotheby’s Reduces Buyer’s Premium by 26% for Upcoming Magnificent Jewels Sale

Attention collectors: Sotheby’s is reducing its buyer’s premium by 26% for the upcoming Magnificent Jewels sale, set for June 7 in New York. This auction promises a stunning array of high-level gemstones, including a 53-carat flawless diamond, rare colored diamonds, Colombian emeralds, and Kashmir sapphires. Highlighting the sale is a magnificent David Morris necklace estimated at $3 million to $5 million.

The auction features a variety of signed pieces from top makers, including Van Cleef & Arpels, with notable items such as a 1929 tie-style diamond necklace ideal for red carpet appearances. Provenance-seekers will be excited by a Colombian emerald ring once owned by Ava Gardner. The sale also includes exquisite pieces by Cartier, Bulgari, Harry Winston, Tiffany & Co., Boucheron, and Graff.

This event marks the introduction of a new commission structure at Sotheby’s, making its buyer’s fees the lowest in the industry. The auction house does not anticipate a profit reduction from this change. A survey of tens of thousands of clients revealed that 90.6% of respondents are likely to bid higher due to the reduced premiums. The new fee structure applies to all Sotheby’s auctions globally, excluding cars, real estate, wine, and spirits.

According to a Sotheby’s statement, the changes are “the result of consistent feedback we’ve heard for years from buyers who are seeking lower premiums, as well as from sellers who are seeking clarity on selling fees… it will not only encourage more buyers to participate at auction, but also reiterate that Sotheby’s is open to all.”

Sotheby’s CEO Charles F. Stewart commented: “Since 1979, when Sotheby’s first introduced Buyer’s Premiums in our salerooms, the market has largely shifted the transaction burden onto buyers. The result has been high costs for buyers and tiered commission structures that require a calculator to even understand, as well as an entirely opaque fee structure for sellers which distracts from what is most important to them. We are confident our simplified and clarified terms will benefit both buyers and sellers going forward.”

This new structure aims to offer significant competition to adjacent auction houses, enhancing the appeal for both buyers and sellers. Happy bidding!

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