In Brief

Christie’s Goes Prix Fixe with eBay Pricing Model

A still from "Provenance" (2013) (image courtesy amiesiegel.net)
An auction-room still from Amie Siegel’s ‘Provenance’ (2013) (image via amiesiegel.net)

An upcoming sale at Christie’s London titled “Buy or Bid” will allow patrons to purchase lots at a fixed price, the auction house announced in a release. Billed as “a new approach to buying,” the price-tag model, though alien to 250 years of institutional history at Christie’s, mimics eBay’s “Buy it Now” feature, which affixes a purchase price to an auction listing.

“For the first time at Christie’s, buyers can secure a handpicked item for a fixed price – they don’t have to bid; they can walk in and walk out of Christie’s with their purchase, or buy on our website,” Nic McElhatton, chairman of the Christie’s outpost in London’s South Kensington, where the auction is to take place, said.

The auction itself is brimming with holiday knick-knacks, with the 42 lots ranging from artworks to jewelry and household decorative objects — including at least one taxidermy dog.

“Recently, taxidermy has been enjoying a renaissance in interior design and contemporary art,”McElhatton told the Telegraph, “and I think this piece is really cool – I’m even planning to have my own dog, Alfie the black Labrador, mounted on wheels with a push bar for my grandchildren when his time comes.”

Though the content of the sale is not particularly exciting, the sort of person who might consider the auction’s unorthodox format a novelty is not likely to be the most discerning in taste.

Any works not sold during the “Buy or Bid” run November 14–December 3 will head to an Interiors department auction on December 9.

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