In this issue we cover the evolution of the government regulations on the sale of ivory. In essence if your ivory is less than one hundred years old as of July 6th you can't sell it. We listed six important questions that are most asked about ivory with answers from the government website. Check with the Fish and Wildlife website for more information.
We continue to see online platforms catering to dealers as a major source of property for their auctions. In the past several issues and in this current we have mentioned a number of these platforms. Sothebys continues to seek an alternative to their catalog sales by pursuing middle market options online. There is no question in my mind as buyers become more comfortable spending greater amounts of money online that will be where sales will continue to trend. Brick and mortar galleries, sales fairs, and exhibitions will primarily be maintained as a marketing presence for those that can afford this luxury. The cost benefit for many sellers is just too high to make sense when online sales are so attractive with far greater margins. The number of auctions is rapidly increasing and will be important to sellers seeking a steady cash flow. The marketplace is changing.
This Fall the first of the Merton D. Simpson estate auctions will be held in Falls Church Virginia. Featured will be some fine 19th and 20th century African objects in addition to the 16th century Benin Punitive Expedition Plaque illustrated in this issue and in the Winter issue of the Newsletter. Also included will be some original paintings by Simpson and other important African American artists.
This Fall we are unveiling a brand new website that will incorporate not only Shango Tribal art and our auction database but also our historic pottery database and the ArtTrak blog which we started in 2004.