Wednesday 12 October 2011

French Auction Houses allowed to sell by mutual agreement

Pierre-Paul Prud'hon,
Esquisse pour le portrait de
 l'Impératrice Joséphine à la Malmaison
France State has just bought three works of art thanks to voluntary sales through Christie’s France. These acquisitions are part of a larger operation of purchase of the Marquet de Vasselot's collection for the most famous French Museums: the Louvre and the National Library. The remaining part of the collection will be auctioned next month.

France passed a new law on July 6th, which entered into force on September 1st, modifying the previous law on July 10th, 2000. The aim of such new law was to allow auction houses to conduct sales by mutual agreement. i.e. private sales between the seller and the buyer, whereas previously such transactions were restricted in France to galleries and other private dealers. The law brings France into line with other European countries as England, which already allow auction houses to handle private sales.

Since they are fast and secure, private sales have special appeal for clients seeking privacy. Museums, which often must establish a budget in consultation with their boards, often lack flexibility during auctions and prefer private negotiations.

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