Hustling An Art Deal

Received wisdom has it that saleroom profits come from commissions charged to sellers and buyers. But those commissions are being eroded, as salerooms offer sellers extra incentives to place business with them. Owners of particularly valuable property can negotiate a 0 per cent selling commission. Now, it seems, they are being offered a share in the buyers' commission, too. News that Christie's is to sell Van Gogh's late portrait, L'Arl├ęsienne, Madame Ginoux, in New York this May for an estimated $40-$60 million comes with informed whispers that the seller will gain between 7 and 9 per cent of the normal 10 per cent charged to the buyer as part of the deal. For the full story - click the title Irish Art