« Unlike other professions, we have not been too impacted by containment » - Les Petites Affiches

Maître Jean-Pierre BESCH
Maître Jean-Pierre BESCH

Maître Jean-Pierre Besch is auctioneer and founder of the auction house Besch Cannes Auction. He answers the questions of the Petites Affiches concerning the state of the auction market during the last months until today and informs us about his next sales.

How COVID-19 has impacted your profession ?

Me Jean-Pierre Besch : Like everyone else, when there was the containment in March, there was no activity for a month. Then, starting in April, the whole profession organized itself to sell with sales only on the net. Live or online. Even before COVID, we already had several ways to get buyers involved in our sales. Selling via the Internet was one of them. Either the sales house has its own sales platform or it goes through existing platforms such as Drouot Live or Interenchères to name only the most important. 99% of the sales with catalogue were broadcast live. Thanks to the new technological tools, we were not penalized too much. Sales via the Internet have even been boosted : 5 years ago this represented about 5% of the sales made, before the containment it was at 30%, and now it is almost 70% of the sales made on the net. It’s not sales that COVID and containment have penalized, but the organization.

COVID has penalized the organization of your sales. What do you mean ?

Me J.P Besch : The nerve of an auction is to find items to sell to offer a sale. To obtain these objects, it is often through inventories of estates or because some people want to sell a cellar, a collection or whatever. This requires expertise and estimates that are often made in people's houses. During containment, this was not possible. Even today, it remains complicated. In fact, most of the sales that took place this summer were sales that should have taken place at the beginning of the year but that had to be postponed.

What can you say about the market atmosphere ?

Me J.P Besch : We are in a period where, as in real estate, the sector is promising. Whether nationally or internationally, people are turning to "safe havens". We feel like we need security right now. Either by buying stone and thus real estate, or by buying art objects. This explains the explosion in the price of the gold bar : its price is currently 55000€, a historical record. Gold has always been one of these safe haven values, even in times of crisis, its rating has always been high, but it did not exceed 42000€. The same thing is happening in the art market. I think we need to reassure ourselves today, with what happened. We do not want to buy everyday consumption but rather perennial things, like art. Art touches on the field of dreams but also investment, or «to enjoy» all this with a reassuring side, so the market is promising. The proof is that we often have more requests than offers. But I have a small downside : you have to sell high-quality parts for it to sell. Unlike the 2000s, in the era of speculation and stock markets, today we are dealing with connoisseurs and collectors who are considering their purchase. You don't sell average items.

What can you tell us about your upcoming sales ?

Joan MIRO Sans titre 1953

JOAN MIRO, 1893-1983 / "SANS TITRE, 1953"

Ink on paper signed at the bottom right / 50,8 x 66 / A certificate of authenticity from Jacques Dupin of the "Association pour la défense de l'oeuvre de Joan Miro" will be given to the purchaser

Estimate : 78000/80000€

Me J.P Besch : Historically, I have focused my work on a few specialties. Namely the art of the twentieth century, which encompasses art from 1880 to today with modern paintings, contemporary art, art nouveau, art deco. I have specialized experts for each artist. I also make jewellery, watches and wines. My next big sales are in December, over five days. We start with three days of wine sales, with the first day dedicated to champagnes and spirits, on December 27. We also have a bottle of chartreuse estimated at 5000€ or 8000€ or a Japanese whisky that will make between 4000€ and 5000€. On December 28 and 29, several private cellars of French and foreign great wines will be auctioned. We will find great bourgognes, bordeaux, and a whole cellar of a starred restaurant that, by change of generation, puts its bottles on sale. On the 30th, we have sales dedicated to 20th century art. We have a very pretty ink on paper from Miro with its certificate estimated between 60000€ and 80000€, and a series of thirty original photos of Picasso and characters from the Parisian and New York jetset picnicking on the Garoupe beach, estimated between 20000€ and 30000€. And finally, we finish the last day of sales with the jewels, mainly high jewellery, and some watches, but there the catalog is not yet finished.

Vente de vins rares Décembre 2020

Auction of rare wines in next December

Article published sur www.petitesaffiches.fr on October, 20 2020 / Written by Julie BIENCOURT

Wines and spirits60Paintings49XX° century49Jewellery43
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