Buyers of fine art, antiques and collectors items will soon be surfing the Internet to make their sale room selections. Auctions On-Line, is the brainchild of James Corsellis and Simon Montford who have set up the company Corsellis-Montford, to bring together leading auction houses from the UK, USA and Europe to present their catalogues and sale room news on the Internet.
Two of the first auction companies to recognise the business benefits are the long established independent London houses of Bonhams (online from August 7th), which has sale rooms in London and the West Country and a growing international presence through the Independent Association of Auctioneers; and Phillips, the world's largest private auction house, which will announce plans shortly.
Christopher Elwes, Bonhams Managing Director, said:
"The internet offers an enormous opportunity to bring
auction sales to a much wider public of all ages. For too
long auctions have been elitist, rather than exciting
occasions for those with a genuine interest in collecting,
and many people are apprehensive about attending a sale.
"Although initially there will be no direct bidding over
the Internet; buyers will continue to bid as usual,
predicted user levels are 50,000 'hits' in the first month,
building up to hundreds of thousands by the year end.
Stage two, will see additional services and a membership scheme introduced before this year end. Access to catalogues, pictures and auction house profiles will remain free but for a fee, members will have access to additional information such as extensive research archives, backdated catalogues, sales results and news letters.
Auctions-On-Line can be found at http://www.auctions-on-line.com/