News-Antique.com - Nov 01,2012 - Baldwin’s are delighted to announce that they have joined eighteen other leading British fine art and antiques auctioneers, with a combined annual turnover in excess of £200 million, to become a dominant UK force in the international market and attract high-spending buyers to their sales from China and beyond.
In an unprecedented move, they have launched The Association of Accredited Auctioneers (Triple-A) and forged commercial links with Asia’s only on-line live bidding portal www.epailive.com. This service promotes Triple-A auctioneers’ sales directly to more than 100,000 registered collectors of fine art and antiques in China and posts catalogues translated into Chinese online.
More significantly, an escrow system – operated independently of Epailive – guarantees payments are made by successful bidders. On registering to bid in a sale, bidders are contractually required to commit funds to cover their purchases. This money is accessible to the auctioneer following the sale within 48 hours of the fall of the hammer.
Early signs are promising with Triple-A firms reporting an encouraging level of demand for the first sales listed on the platform. The objective is to increase international confidence and understanding of the UK auction business through a programme of targeted marketing, quality assurance and educational presentations to key growth markets.
“The internet is having an increasingly significant impact on our individual businesses,” said Triple-A founder Chairman Chris Ewbank (Ewbank’s Surrey) “but auctioneers and their buyers have been wary of dealing with each other when they are separated often by thousands of miles and obvious language barriers.
“Ours is a market sector in which credibility and service are key. Triple-A provides a platform from which to broaden foreign consumers’ understanding of precisely what they should expect from a UK auction house and what the auction house requires from them.
“As a not-for-profit association, Triple-A will represent the highest level of standards and service in the profession, and we will guard its accreditation standards with a rigid code of practice which all members must adhere to.”
Baldwin’s Auction Director and Triple-A committee member Seth Freeman added, “Baldwin’s have been holding auctions in Hong Kong and Singapore for over 15 years and we are very pleased to have been invited to stand alongside such a fine array of UK auction houses to offer our services to the wider Asian market.
“We have seen first-hand a steady increase in the repatriation of Chinese numismatics over the past five years and we are excited to now be part of a wider community of fine art professionals with common objectives for appealing to all emerging economies.”
Paul Viney the Chairman of the Society of Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers (SOFAA) commented, “Personally I welcome any initiative that can help us promote and develop our business links with the Chinese. Triple-A will be making a presentation at the next SOFAA committee meeting in December and we look forward to hearing more about their plans.”
Baldwin’s are the only specialist numismatic firm to be included in the Triple-A association and will broadcast