Sothebys Splits from Canadian Partner

Sothebys Splits from Canadian Partner

Sotheby’s is ending its partnership with Canadian auction house Ritchie’s.

Or... is it the other way around?

Allegations that Ritchie’s failed to pay a consignor on a May 25 sale (payment for which was due on July 8) led Sotheby’s Canada head David Silcox to issue a statement notifying the public that the house would not renew its partnership with Ritchie’s on July 31. He added that failure to pay was a “cardinal sin” in the auction business.

Ritchie’s president Stephen Ranger, however, has gone on record saying that "Ritchie’s has never reneged on paying a consignor — and we won't," an accusation that, according to him, led Ritchie’s to terminate its agreement with Sotheby’s, and not vice versa.

At any rate, the two houses, who’d worked together since 2002, when their first collaborative effort brought in a record CAN$5.2 million in sales, will both continue to deal in Canadian art — though separately, of course.

Read more at Canwest News Service.