Ethics at the Top Two Auction Houses

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At a glance, auctions of fine arts and other high-valued merchandize allow ordinary people to glimpse at the mystifying, ostentatious world of the rich. Prized personal possessions such as rare fine arts, antique furniture, collectibles, memorabilia and other effects that only the 'rich and famous' typically can own are among the items being offered at auctions.


The value for money stretches from a few hundred dollars (e.g., wine) to millions in expensive paintings. (CEC 7)
The auction sale of private collections may be held either with a certain motif, under a class of the commodity, or the art's genre or given time period. In 1996, Sotheby's sold at auction the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis as a collection, while other public dealings were categorized in 'Old Master Paintings' or 'Jewellery'. Sotheby's fiercest competitor, Christie's also hold such glamorous, multi-million-dollar auction events, as the richest of richest of men grace such occasions. (CEC 7)
Although both auction houses hold 'regular' auctions at their subsidiaries throughout the world (Rome, Geneva, Zurich, Amsterdam, Milan, Melbourne and Hong Kong), high-profile auction events are generally held at their London and New York headquarters. (Ashenfelter & Graddy 3-25)
The auction houses, which accept items to be auctioned (on a consignment basis), handle each necessary arrangement for the event, including planning, design and distribution of high-class brochures, advanced publicity as well as viewing opportunities. ...
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