Critics charge new auction practice obscures market

In Canada, the government is being called upon to regulate auction house guarantees and require full disclosure from the houses about conflicts-of-interest, and bid shilling.

Sotheby's is first Canadian house to offer guaranteed prices. 'It's like cowboy country ... something has to be done federally'

One of the most controversial hallmarks of the supercharged international art auction world officially arrives in Canada next Monday. It's the guarantee, or perhaps that should be The Guarantee: the secret minimum payment that an auction house agrees to pay the consignor of a particular art work regardless of how that Jackson Pollock (or Tom Thomson) performs at auction.

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"A body of law is something that's needed in Canada because if, for instance, there's a financial interest owned by an auction firm, there should be disclosure. Otherwise, the public is not getting the full picture of what's going on."

Read the indepth story by James Adams in The Globe and Mail

China becomes world’s 3rd largest art auction market

China's art market overtook France's for the first time last year, according to figures released by Art Price on Monday.

According to Art Price's 2007 data comprising sales of fine arts works - paintings, drawings and photographs - the global art market saw an overall rise for the seventh year running, with revenue up 43.8 per cent on the previous year.

The rise was driven by a...

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Banksy Stars; Design Booms; Rivals Set Summer Sale Dates: London Art Buzz

Works by Banksy will be the top lots as a U.K. regional auction house joins the rush to sell urban art.

Among the works will be the early Banksy acrylic on canvas, ``Portrait of an Artist,'' that Dreweatts said had been bought by the seller for a few hundred pounds at the artist's 1999 Bristol exhibition....

Read the entire story by Scott Reyburn at Bloomberg.com

London February Contemporary-Art Sales Rose 56% as Bacon, Hirst Works Sell

Contemporary-art sales in London rose more than 50 percent to 245.7 million pounds ($487.2 million) in February from a year earlier, figures from auction houses show, a sign the market is weathering a worldwide economic slowdown.

Sotheby's, Christie's International and Phillips de Pury & Co. said they sold 56.4 percent more contemporary art than...

Read the full story by Scott Reyburn at Bloomberg.com