Auction dos and don'ts
Henry Butcher’s art auction shows no signs of abating, with news that they’re now making their event a twice-yearly affair. But what are the dos and don’ts of an auction?
Easy. Whether you’re a potential bidder or not, visit the preview to get acquainted with the works. If anything takes your fancy, pipe up with your queries or concerns – even about the price. If it costs RM200,000 and not RM20,000, ask why. Price estimates are often justified by the seniority of the artist or the rarity of the artwork. What also helps is to pick up a catalogue. This will have all the information about the lots.
Planning to bid? Here’s brilliant advice. ‘Condition reports are available for certain lots. They are complimentary, so please ask,’ says HB Art’s Linda Leoni, who adds that interested folk should also do extra homework. ‘Potential buyers are strongly advised to examine the lot before the sale and to bring their own expert to check the condition before bidding’.
Next, register. And come auction day, pick up your bidding paddle, enjoy the refreshments (oh yes), and find yourself a good seat. Tip: want privacy? Sit up front. That way, most folk will only see the back of your head and that paddle of yours. Not bidding? Don’t heckle (this is not a performance) and keep your phone on silent.
If you can’t make it for the auction, do register for telephone or absentee bidding. And when you successfully attain that million Ringgit Ibrahim Hussein, don’t gloat. Nobody likes a show-off. Rachel Jena
'Henry Butcher Art Auction' will take place this May 6. See listing for more info.