Global Online Art Sales May Double in Five Years, Study Says

  • April 27, 2014 22:52

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This Sunburst Snuff Jar, made circa 1815-1830 by the Keene Marlboro Street Glassworks in New Hampshire, sold for $57,330 in an online-only auction.
Norman C. Heckler & Co.

A new set of younger and first-time buyers could fuel the value of the online fine art market to $3.76 billion in the next five years from $1.57 billion in 2013, according to British insurer Hiscox.

Hiscox says growth in online art sites will not undermine the business of galleries and auction houses as it has done to the movie, book and music businesses. The Internet is increasingly a tool for younger buyers to make their first purchases, states Hiscox.

"Young collectors are looking for art work which is easy to buy and available at a wide range of prices," said Robert Read, Hiscox's head of fine art. "Online art platforms cater for all tastes and budgets, but are particularly effective for those just starting to collect - opening up the art market in a way that is hard to replicate in the real world."

Egon Schiele's "Reclining Woman" brought over $2.3 million in an online-only auction on Friday (with fees).


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