A group of auction houses in the United Kingdom have formed the Association of Accredited Auctioneers.
The group, which includes A.H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd., the only strictly numismatic firm in the association, hopes to “bring trust and professionalism to the international art market,” according to an announcement from Baldwin’s.
The group is reaching into China and beyond by creating commercial links with Asia’s only online live bidding portal, www.epailive.com, which has more than 100,000 registered collectors of fine art and antiques in China and posts catalogs translated into Chinese online.
An escrow system — operated independently of Epailive — guarantees payments are made by successful bidders, according to the group. Officials of the association believe the arrangements may diminish the wariness between buyer and seller that distance and language differences can create.
Officials said the association has certain accreditation standards with a rigid code of practice to which all members must adhere.
Seth Freeman, Baldwin’s auction director and Triple-A committee member, mentioned Baldwin’s 15 years of experience holding auctions in Hong Kong and Singapore, and said, “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.”
The association’s website will be launched during 2013. ■