"Auctions under expertise" - Nice Matin

Maître Jean-Pierre BESCH
Maître Jean-Pierre BESCH

Why are sales houses increasingly using outside experts ?

The auction that was going on 10, 20, or 30 years ago is over. Today, goods like traditional furniture are no longer worth much. We have to be more specific and to make specialized sales with precise catalogues and descriptions. Our job as an auctioneer is to be a “general practitioner” with maximum knowledge of the goods we sell. After that, it is important to call on experts specialized in our various fields. In the Alpes-Maritimes and the Var, at least 50% of specialized sales use an expert. The latter brings authentication and price estimation, as well as a reputation and a national and international clientele. It’s a sign of trust.

How do you recruit these experts ?

Some major houses have their own payroll experts. In general, sales houses in France rely on independent experts. It’s a real tandem with the auctioneer. Personally, I’m trying to call on local professionals. And it works very well. I see it with my wine expert, Pascal Kuzniewski. Today we are the first independent French wine auction house.

What about the expertises of masterpieces ?

For 80% of the great names of the 20th century art, a certificate must be obtained from a dedicated committee, heirs or rights-holders, or from a dedicated expert. You can’t get past these people. For example, you need a certificate from the Picasso committee to sell a work by Picasso, or a certificate from the Maurice Garnier Gallery to sell a Bernard Buffet.

And for the jewels ?

For precious stones, in addition to the expert, we also request a certificate from a laboratory of gemology. It takes a lot more preparation, but it’s a guarantee for buyers. Ten years ago, this type of certificate was very rare. They were only asked for exceptional sales.

NICE MATIN - "Art & Enchères" - 20 March, 2020

The documents :

Wines and spirits43Paintings35XX° century35Jewellery25Tribal art6Watches20Decorative arts23Cars5Boats2Vintage4
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