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Bowerbank Ninow Issues First Artist’s Resale Royalties

Bowerbank Ninow Issues First Artist’s Resale Royalty Payments

In the aftermath of their successful inaugural auction on 25 November 2015, BOWERBANK NINOW issued their first artist’s resale royalty payments this month.

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, BOWERBANK NINOW became the first art business in New Zealand to offer a voluntary resale royalty of 2.5 percent of any work by a living artist at their inaugural auction.

The resale royalty reflected 2.5 percent of the hammer price of the artwork and was paid to the artist at no cost to the vendor or buyer.

"The gesture by Bowerbank Ninow to return some of the resale value of a work to the artist is an admirably generous one,” says artist Grahame Sydney whose 1976 painting ‘Finishing Post, Vincent’ sold for NZ$47,000. “I'm no believer in the enforced sharing of a resale percentage, but this voluntary attitude is a reflection of the partners' principles, and affords them a point of difference which will win favor with both artists and vendors."

Finishing Post, Vincent by Grahame Sydney sold for $47,000 resulting in a royalty payment of $1175

Other living New Zealand artists who benefited from the artist’s resale royalty included Yvonne Todd whose 2009 photographic C-print “Werta” reached a record hammer price at the auction. The sale of works by Michael Parekowhai, Bill Hammond, Max Gimblett, Jude Rae, Gretchen Albrecht, David Cauchi, John Ward Knox and Andrew McLeod also resulted in royalty payments.

Long-time New Zealand art collector, Anuj Bhargava adds: “As a collector the idea that some of the money from each sale is returned to the artist is attractive. I think it’s significant that Bowerbank Ninow pass on some of the proceeds into the hands of those that produced the original work. It feels like the best way to maintain a sustainable art world ecosystem.”

Werta by Yvonne Todd sold for $11,600 resulting in a royalty payment of $290

“We recognize the secondary market as a vital and integral aspect of the art market,” says Mr. Ninow. “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,” adds Mr. Bowerbank.

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.


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