New Zealand business breaks new ground with voluntary artists’ resale royalty


For picture credit see end of article.

A new art business, founded by Simon Bowerbank and Charles Ninow, will be the first art business in New Zealand to offer a voluntary resale royalty of 2.5 percent of the hammer price, paid at no cost to the vendor or buyer, of any work by a living artist at auction.

The business, BOWERBANK NINOW, will open its doors in August in the heart of Auckland’s premier gallery district. It will hold both auctions and exhibitions and offer private sales and valuations.

Ninow said the voluntary artists’ resale royalty is being offered in support of New Zealand one day joining the list of countries who have written artist’s resale royalty rights or droit de suite into law.

Resale royalties are the rights of visual artists to receive a certain percentage of the resale price of their work after the original sale, whenever resold by commercial dealers or auctioneers. The rationale is that artists should participate in the increasing value of their art. Resale royalty rights for visual artists were first granted in France in 1920 followed by Belgium in 1921. They now exist in more than 70 countries as well as in California in the United States.

“We recognize the secondary market as a vital and integral aspect of the art market,” he said. “While the auction market plays an active role in value-development, we believe it is important that Bowerbank Ninow has a positive, tangible role in fostering contemporary practice.”

Located below Ivan Anthony, beside Michael Lett and across the street from Artspace at 312 Karangahape Road, BOWERBANK NINOW will maintain a full-time gallery program of primary and secondary market exhibitions by leading New Zealand and international artists. The first exhibition in August will be Theo Schoon.


Picture credit: Kristina D.C. Hoeppner/Creative Commons license.


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