Online Artnet Auction Attracts Multi-Million Dollar Bids


On July 13, artnet started an Online Art Auction with 9 Pop Art master lots by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol, Mel Ramos, Tom Wesselmann and Robert Rauschenberg that ends July 20, 2011. Unlike Sotheby's and Christie's which add the buyer's premium on a sliding scale, artnet's online auctions add +15% buyers premium to all lots, whether a John Chamberlain Sculpture estimated at $3-$3.5 million or a set of After Andy Warhol Skateboards!

5 artnet lots have attracted online bids, yet none of the 9 higher priced lots has received a bid high enough to meet the seller's unpublished reserve. Experienced online auction bidders often wait until the last few minutes of online auctions to place bids so we have to wait until the final minutes if any of these higher priced lots sell.

Will any Lots Meet the Artnet Unpublished reserve?
Remarkably, artnet has even been able to encourage two online bidders to place nearly $3 million dollar bids even though there has been no public exhibition of any lot.

The John Chamberlain Mrs. Yif Nif has a bid of $2,990,000., inclusive of the 15% buyers premium, but not enough to meet the reserve. The $3,000,000 to $3,500,000 estimate is more than double the highest price ever paid at auction for an 1980's sculpture by John Chamberlain.

Two Record Prices If Reserve Reduced
If the reserve were reduced and the owner accepts the current $2.6 million bid, this 1986 John Chamberlain would achieve two record prices:

- A record price for an Artwork sold in an online auction.
- It would establish an all time record price for any John Chamberlain Sculpture created after 1970, and well exceed the $1,161,000., fetched in 2008 at Christie's for a similar sculpture.

John Chamberlain Recent Comparables Not Disclosed In Lot Details
artnet lot description acknowledges the recent record prices achieved at Auction for a John Chamberlain 50's Sculpture but avoids disclosure of several recent comparables for late Chamberlain Sculpture, essential to any buyer at this level, including the $550,000., achieved at Christie's auction for a large Chamberlain from 1979. 

In May 2010, John Chamberlain's Isabella's Line, 1979, fetched $550,000 at Christie's, but Artnet did not include this information in the online Auction for the John Chamberlain Mrs. Yif Nif Sculpture.

John Chamberlain
Isabella's Line, 1979
Sold for $550,000
Christie's May 11, 2011
Not Disclosed by Artnet
Chamberlain Sculpture Sold In 2008 Superior
The John Chamberlain sited by artnet as a comparable is of considerably better quality; the hammer price was $1 million and with buyers premium: $1,161,000, almost two million less than the current bid not that does meet the unpublished reserve.
John Chamberlain From 1983
Sold for $1,161,000 at Christie's, May 13,  2008 
The Andy Warhol 1978 Flower currently has a bid of $900,000, yet the lot also does not meet the seller's unpublished reserve. According to the Andy Warhol Catalogue Raisonne, there were numerous 22 inch flower paintings created in 1964; the one being offered by artnet was created in 1978 not as desirable as the 1964 versions.  No provenance is stated prior to 1995; where has this painting been since it was created in 1978?

Unsold 1978 Andy Warhol 22 inch Flowers Not Disclosed
The last time a 1978 22 inch flower painting was offered at auction in 2004, it went unsold at Sotheby's with an estimate of $300,000 - $400,000; disturbing, this information is not disclosed by artnet.
Andy Warhol
22 inch Flowers, 1978
Unsold At Sotheby's November 10, 2004
Estimate $300,000-$400,000
2 Andy Warhol Blue 24 Inch Flowers From 1964 Also Not Disclosed In Arnet Lot
Since artnet described the 1978 Andy Warhol Blue Flowers as extremely rare and artnet actively sells its historical pricing data for artworks at auction, it was disturbing that artnet failed to disclose two other relevant Andy Warhol 1964 24 inch green and black Flower paintings, both more desirable/rare, that sold at Christie's for $440,000 and $688,000 in 2003 and 2005, respectively.
Andy Warhol
 24 inch Flowers, 1964
Sold For $440,000
Christie's May 15, 2003
Andy Warhol
24 Inch Flowers, 1964
Sold for $688,000.
Christie's November 9, 2005

Only a few hours left to see if the multi-million dollar bids turn into record breaking artnet auction sales!

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