Sotheby's Newsletter Switzerland

April 2020

Although we are not currently able to welcome you into our Geneva office at this moment, we want to assure you that we remain fully available to you and contactable while working from home.

Sotheby’s global business continues to operate as normally as possible, with a number of very successful sales held in recent days demonstrating the resilience of the global art market. Last month’s auctions of Jewels Online and Watches Online were 97% and 86.5% sold by lot respectively, and this week our latest jewellery sale, Fine Jewels, was a "white glove" sale - 100% of lots were sold. 85% of lots in March’s Banksy Online prints sale achieved prices above their high-estimates, and the sale was 96% sold by lot overall.

We continue to offer a wide range of services, including auctions, Private Sale opportunities and online valuations. Given the increasing preference of many clients to engage with us in digital formats to discover, explore and bid on art and objects, we are confident we can continue to deliver exceptional service and sales to our clients around the world.

We would be delighted to provide advice and valuations, for auction or private sale, on any relevant works within your collection.

Caroline Lang
Chairman, Switzerland & Deputy Chairman, Europe
Impressionist, Modern & Contemporary art

David Bennett
Worldwide Chairman, International Jewellery Division
Chairman, Switzerland & Deputy Chairman, Europe

Our next sales in Switzerland

At the moment, given the government directives, our priorities are to provide our staff and clients with a safe environment, to support the requirements and goals of our consignors and buyers, and our responsibility to the international art market.

In practice, this means we are holding online-only sales, migrating live sales into online-only sales when appropriate, or postponing them to a later date, based on what makes the most sense for each sale and location. We will continue to review our approach day by day, and week by week, depending on how global circumstances develop.

The online auctions we have held in recent weeks have totaled $35 million, demonstrating the extraordinary resilience of the global art market. We have the best digital tools in the marketplace and our aim is to continue supporting our clients in both buying and selling.

Please see details of our auction calendar below.

We wish to inform you that our auction of Swiss Art / Swiss Made has been postponed and will take place on the 8th of September 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact a member of our specialist team for further information.

We continue to hold successful Jewellery sales, with two auctions in March, where 92% of lots sold. New participants made up 20% of bidders. Four further online auctions are taking place in April, led by our specialist teams in Geneva, London, Hong Kong and New York. Our traditional live auction of Magnificent Jewels and Noble Jewels in Geneva has been rescheduled and will be held on 30 June. Our calendar of upcoming jewellery sales can be found here.

In March we held the most successful online sale of Watches in Sotheby’s history, as well as launching “Watches Weekly”, a new format of weekly online sales. We have also consigned a number of important single-owner collections which will be offered as part of our very busy calendar of sales in June and July. Our priority is to make sure we do justice to this exceptional property and deliver the best possible results to consignors. We have therefore decided to postpone our Geneva sale until after the summer.

Private Sales

Even in uncertain moments, like the one we find ourselves in now, there are still many collectors who wish to sell or invest in art. Sotheby’s David Schrader, head of private sales, shares the many ways he and his team can help clients every day. “Collecting doesn’t only happen four times a year at auction – it really is a year-round activity,” he says. “Our clients are interested in purchasing the best objects at the best prices whenever they are available.”

From the Archives: Stories to Enlighten, Inspire and Delight

We know many of you are home right now as the world confronts this global health crisis. Art can offer an excellent escape and source of inspiration, and so we searched our archive for some of our favourite stories and videos from the past few years. We hope you enjoy reading and watching them as much as we enjoyed creating them.

How to Bid Online at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s leads the industry in providing simple and secure ways to bid. In the video below, learn about the features that make bidding online at Sotheby’s easier than ever. Discover how to place your bids — on your smartphone or computer — from almost anywhere in the world. To learn more about bidding at Sotheby’s, watch our video.

Upcoming Online Auctions