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.
"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."