As the early morning sun rose above the Sierra Nevada on July 29th, online bidders steadily stirred, muttering pertinent lot numbers into their coffee cups. They had been waiting all year to contend and each bidders desired artworks were just hours away from sliding across the block. When the western skies reached high noon, The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction released the latch to begin its 32nd Annual Fine Western & American Art auction.
Online bidding for Coeur d'Alene has been exclusively hosted by Bidsquare since it launched in Fall 2014. Based on the momentum it gained last year, Bidsquare, an online auction aggregator, expected to yield strong results - in 2016 the platform exceeded $800,000 in online sales- now the ante has been upped. What was once a trot, has become a hard gallop; over $6 million in placed bids were slung by Bidsquare during the live sale, totaling over $1 million in online victories.
Bidsquare's user-friendly platform continues to grow as its high quality collector base's winning bids increase in value year after year. Hitting this milestone in tandem with a high profile sale such as The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction is an encouraging testament to the serious buyers that Bidsquare attracts. Mike Overby, Partner at The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction adds, "We noticed a dramatic increase in both number of bidders and total sales through the Bidsquare platform for our 2017 Coeur d' Alene Art Auction. We've received considerable positive feedback from our clients regarding their Bidsquare experience and look forward to a long partnership with the company."
A steadfast herd of online underbidders trailed close behind the floor with nearly $2 million dollars of direct underbidding recorded. Observers saw an exciting exchange to claim Lot 115, a majestic portrait of a matured Moose titled, In his Prime, by American wildlife artist Carl Rungius. The impressionistic, sun drenched, oil painting reached a $150K Bidsquare offer before selling to the floor at $160K hammer.
One of the more popular artists on Bisquare during the auction was Bob Kuhn, another American wildlife painter. On two occasions, direct underbids drove the sale of Kuhn's paintings, one reaching $95K and the other $80K. However, a third painting by Khun did prove sucessful for Bidsquare, Lot 59, Bob Kuhn, The Rustle of Mice, realized $83,300 and remained the top sale for Bidsquare that day.
The quality and quantity of revered artists that represent the Fine Western & American Art market at Coeur d'Alene simply cannot be matched and is well worth the one year wait. During the rest of the year, Western Art has proven to be one of Bidsquare's strongest categories within the Fine Art scope.
Those that registered online for this years Coeur d'Alene auction search for similar buying opportunities year round and know exactly which items are worth grappling with the floor over - Lot 225, Smoking Up, a bronze sculpture by one of the biggest names in the sale, Charles M. Russell, is a perfect example of that. The sculpture, which was won on Bidsquare, depicts an animated rider firing his gun from the rear of his bucking horse - it exudes the 'in the moment' feeling which is a sought after talent and one which fuels the imaginations of top collectors.
“Bidsquare was thrilled to host Coeur d’Alene’s annual art auction as their exclusive online bidding platform for the 3rd year in a row. The results speak to the vibrancy of our platform and our audience of deeply passionate collectors. Our unique partnership approach with auction houses like Coeur d’Alene, combined with the ease and convenience of our platform, allows bidders from around the world to discover and bid on authentic and fresh to market fine art and antiques," said Allis Ghim, CEO of Bidsquare.
"There is always a buzz when Coeur d’Alene’s annual auction comes around in our office," Ghim adds, "The Bidsquare team does quite a bit of preparation, in partnership with the auction house, to make sure the catalog gets in front of the right audience to maximize the results. With Coeur d’Alene’s sale we only have one chance a year to get it right so our preparation starts in advance of the catalog even coming online."
"Hitting the $1 million dollar mark in online winning bids this year, along with an additional $1.9M in direct underbids in a single sale and posting double digit growth vs last year is an incredible and significant milestone for Bidsquare. There were a number of bidders that had attended the preview in person but ended up bidding online because they couldn’t make it to the auction. Being able to capture their bidding activity online and offering users an alternative that is easy and convenient for participating in a live auction is part of the service we provide our users. We are motivated by these results and it's a great start to the summer auction season."
A clear bell has just been rung across the vast landscape of online bidding - like all classic western tales, Bidsquare seems to be the one riding toward the horizon of uncharted possibilities.
Read more about 2017 results at The Coeur d'Alene Art Auction: Antiques and the Arts Weekly, Total Exceeds $16 Million at Coeur d'Alene.