A long-standing practice of high-end auctioneers to keep the name of sellers anonymous may soon change, reports The New York Times.
New York’s highest court is reviewing a recent ruling that, if overturned, could result in the names of sellers of art to be announced instead of remaining anonymous.
The names of the sellers would not have to be revealed to the public. However, it would need to be divulged to the buyers. If the law is changed, it could affect how auction houses operate in New York. It could eliminate a “loophole” that buyers have relied upon to enable them to back out of transactions.
As of now you can back out of any transaction where the name of the seller is not provided,” said Peter R. Stern of McLaughlin & Stern, a Manhattan lawyer who represents dealers, collectors and auction houses and was an outside counsel to Sotheby’s.