The Dynamics of Auction: Social Interaction and the Sale of Fine Art and Antiques

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Cambridge University Press, 2013 - Antiques & Collectibles - 244 pages
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Each year art and antiques worth many billions of pounds are sold at auction. These auctions consist of numerous, intense episodes of social interaction through which the price of goods rapidly escalates until sold on the strike of a hammer. In this book, Christian Heath examines the fine details of interaction that arises at auctions, the talk and visible conduct of the participants, and their use of various tools and technologies. He explores how auctioneers, buyers and their representatives are able to transact the sale of goods worth anything from a few dollars through to many millions in just seconds. Heath addresses how order, trust, and competition are established at auctions and demonstrates how an economic institution of some global importance is founded upon embodied action and interaction. The analysis is based on video recordings of sales of art and antiques gathered within a range of national and international auction houses in Europe and the United States.
 

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Contents

Auctions and Social Interaction
15
Projecting Prices
29
Preserving the Run
44
The Sequential Organisation of Bidding
63
Creating an Impression
78
Bidding and the Pursuit of Bids
108
Remote Presence and Online Participation
140
On the Strike of the Hammer
168
Embodied Action and the Order ofMarkets
200
Glossary
221
3 1
240
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About the author (2013)

Christian Heath is Professor at the Work, Interaction and Technology Research Centre, Department of Management, King's College London.

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