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"Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without." - Confucius

„Christie’s has a global presence with 53 offices in 32 countries and 10 salerooms around the world including ones in London, New York, Paris, Geneva, Milan, Amsterdam, Dubai, Zürich, and Hong Kong. More recently, Christie’s has led the market with expanded initiatives in growth markets such as Russia, China, India and the United Arab Emirates, with successful sales and exhibitions in Beijing, Mumbai and Dubai.” – Christie’s 

At the Christie’s Private Sales stall we tested the patience of the exhibitors without actually meaning to. We saw enthralling pieces and enthusiastically photographed the vintage Boucheron, Cartier, Graff and other brands’ vintage collections. One of the highlights was a 1947 Boucheron set wherein the necklace can be transformed into a tiara and brooch. The workmanship of the jewellery, the setting of the precious stones, and even the reverse side of the various pieces deserves special attention, and it becomes immediately evident even for the amateur spectator what haute joaillerie truly means…

An increasing part of the turnover of the largest auction houses comes from private sales, which operate divided into separate fields just like auctions. One can purchase jewellery, watches, paintings, book rarities or even contemporary Chinese ink graphics via private sales.

Christie’s sales in the private field have increased significantly in comparison with 2011. Private sales totalled USD 661.5 million in the first half of 2012, an increase of 53% on the previous year.

Contrary to auctions, private sales are based on personal business between the buyer and the seller, and the auction house participates in the process as a broker. Sales are not restricted by location or time, and the deals are not limited to the auction seasons.

There can be several reasons why someone, whether buyer or seller should choose private sales. Some people wish to avoid the complicated fee structure of auctions while others appreciate special attention and a personal connection. And of course there are those for whom the discretion provided by private sales is paramount.

Auction houses across the globe hold selling exhibitions and upload online catalogues to their websites where the items currently for sale can be viewed. However specialists with outstanding expertise also source pieces upon individual request.

With the opportunities provided by private sales, collectors can have higher liquidity in their collections, and pieces can be brought to market or purchased with increased flexibility. Of course private sales require great trust as the transactions are much less transparent. The auction house serves both the buyer and the seller as facilitator although it can seem that the seller’s and the auction house’s interests align while the buyer’s don’t necessarily.

Naturally auctions continue to be a popular venue for the sale of valuable pieces, and many people believe that this is the platform for obtaining the highest price and profit maximization. Public auctions also offer an opportunity for outsiders to witness the sale of exceptional pieces.

Middle East salesroom: 
Address: DIFC, Gate Village Building 5, Podium Level, PO Box 506685 Dubai, UAE
Please note that Christie’s Dubai office currently holds contemporary Arabic, Iranian & Turkish art auctions in Dubai.

Look at the amazing vintage pieces Christie’s brought to the Doha Jewellery & Watches exhibition…

The articles of the series:
Doha Jewellery & Watches Exhibition, Part 1
DJWE, Part 2 – Diamonds & Pearls
DJWE, Part 3 – Romantic comeback
DJWE, Part 4 – Beyond the auction room

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