Online auctions 2017: design trends and insights from Barnebys

How has global demand for the most sought-after designers changed in last decade? A new report from leading art and auction search engine Barnebys reveals some surprising trends.

Online auctions 2017: design trends and insights from Barnebys

The report, ‘Barnebys 2017 Online Auction Report: 15 Designated Designers – Trends and Insights’, focuses on the development of the global market for fifteen of the most sought-after names in contemporary design.

Among other things, the report reveals astonishing growth in demand for 20th century design, with the market for design increasing by almost 330 percent between 2009 and 2016.

“Today, anyone can get their hands on iconic design furniture for a very modest price, while international collectors continue to pay millions for furniture and design objects of the highest quality,” says Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of Barnebys, the leading online search service for arts, antiques and rarities.

The report’s findings are based on an analysis of more than 31 million realised auction prices from 315 auction houses in 29 countries. It focuses on works by 15 ‘designated designers’ from Denmark, France, Finland, Sweden, and the United States and estimates their total market value in 2016 at €38.3 million.

The growth is due in large part to the increased transparency and access that comes with online auctions, which provide more opportunities for more people to buy iconic design furniture.

''Barnebys has opened the auction industry to the masses, making a world of unique, quality items available to everyone,” adds Silfverstolpe.

According to the report, collectors are paying considerable attention to design, with prices on a limited supply of unique, high-end design pieces getting boosted to fine-art market status in some cases.

And while established designers may drop in price, collectors continue to hunt for the next trendy designer in hopes of finding a diamond in the rough that could pay big dividends later on.

“Buying design is a better investment than, say, buying art, no matter what the price range,” says Barnebys co-founder and CEO Christopher Barnekow. “Achieving a more personal, beautiful interior is a bonus.”

Find your own design treasure with Barnebys

This article was produced by The Local Client Studio and sponsored by Barnebys.


The new guide to Florence’s Uffizi Galleries – showing only the nudes

There are lots of guides to the visual splendours of Florence's world-famous galleries - but for those with a short attention span comes a new one, showing only nude or erotic artworks.

The new guide to Florence's Uffizi Galleries - showing only the nudes
Sandro Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" is the most famous work included in a controversial new guide to the Uffizi Galleries. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

The online guide to the gallieries is produced by the porn website Pornhub and provide a list of the best erotic artworks in each museum, plus directions of how to get there – so you don’t need to waste your time looking at paintings of people in clothes.

Part of the site’s Classic Nudes series of ‘erotic’ guides to some of the world’s most renowned museums, the guide for the Uffizi lists 21 artworks, together with a tongue-in-cheek commentary, and the location of each piece within the galleries.

“The Uffizi Gallery is located in the birthplace of the Renaissance: Florence, Italy. So it’s no wonder it has such a large collection of artwork from the era. But what you may find surprising is the sheer volume and variety of naked bodies rendered in paint, bronze and marble in this marvelous museum,” writes Pornhub.

Among the works featured are Botticelli’s Birth of Venus (1485) and the Roman statue of the Knidian Aphrodite, dating from the 1st Century.

The guide also includes the Venus of Urbino by Titian (1538), which it calls “kinky”, and Painting and Poetry by Francesco Furini (1626), which is described as featuring “two ridiculously hot babes who just so happen to be making out”.

Titian’s “Venus of Urbino”. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

Bosses at the Uffizi were not amused at the gallery’s inclusion in Pornhub’s series and have threatened to sue.

Meanwhile in Paris, the Louvre’s management has said only that it is ‘dismayed’, while the Musée d’Orsay remained silent on the subject.

As is hopefully clear, the Pornhub guides are explicit in nature and not suitable for children.

The Uffizi does, however, provide a great day out for all the family and contains a lot of fully-clothed artwork too. At present it is operating with reduced visitor numbers due to health rules, so advance booking to recommended.