Auctions

Table of Contents


Introduction

Auctions are a very common way for art objects to change ownership. The description of the auction itself is valuable for historical context and to provide a sense of the changing value of the object. An auction is, generally speaking, any event in which there are one or more attemps to sell one or more objects, where the price is negotiated by a bidding process of would-be buyers offering progressively more money for the set of objects.

There are various regional and temporal variations on auctions, some of which are covered below, however the overall pattern remains the same.

There are established vocabulary entries for the different aspects of an auction:

Auction

The auction is the overall event, and a typical auction has the features described here. The auction might occur over multiple days, during which many auction of lots (the sale of one or more objects) will take place. It is performed by an organization, known as an auction house, and for movable art objects takes place at the premises of the organization. The auction of lot is each a separate sale, described in the following section.

The auction is modeled as an Activity, and represents the overall event. It is carried_out_by the auction house (a Group), took_place_at the auction house premises (a Place), and has all of the regular properties of an Activity. It is referenced by the auction of lot activities via their part_of property.

Example:

An auction event takes place on March 12 and 13 at the London premises of the auction house.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/23", 
  "type": "Activity", 
  "_label": "Example Auction in London 1875-03-12,13", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300054751", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Auction Event"
    }
  ], 
  "timespan": {
    "type": "TimeSpan", 
    "_label": "12th and 13th of March, 1875", 
    "begin_of_the_begin": "1875-03-12T00:00:00Z", 
    "end_of_the_end": "1875-03-14T00:00:00Z"
  }, 
  "took_place_at": [
    {
      "type": "Place", 
      "_label": "Auction House Premises, London", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300005234", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Auction House (place)"
        }
      ]
    }
  ], 
  "carried_out_by": [
    {
      "type": "Group", 
      "_label": "Auction House", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300417515", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Auction House (organization)"
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(activity23) class O1 event; O1-- type -->O1_0[Activity] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Example Auction in London 1875-03-12,13''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300054751) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Auction Event''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 timespan; O3-- type -->O3_0[TimeSpan] class O3_0 classstyle; O3-- _label -->O3_2("''12th and 13th of March, 1875''") class O3_2 literal; O3-- begin_of_the_begin -->O3_3("''1875-03-12T00:00:00Z''") class O3_3 literal; O3-- end_of_the_end -->O3_4("''1875-03-14T00:00:00Z''") class O3_4 literal; O1-- timespan -->O3 O4( _ ) class O4 place; O4-- type -->O4_0[Place] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_2("''Auction House Premises, London''") class O4_2 literal; O5(aat:300005234) class O5 type; O5-- type -->O5_0[Type] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_3("''Auction House (place)''") class O5_3 literal; O4-- classified_as -->O5 O1-- took_place_at -->O4 O6( _ ) class O6 actor; O6-- type -->O6_0[Group] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Auction House''") class O6_2 literal; O7(aat:300417515) class O7 type; O7-- type -->O7_0[Type] class O7_0 classstyle; O7-- _label -->O7_3("''Auction House (organization)''") class O7_3 literal; O6-- classified_as -->O7 O1-- carried_out_by -->O6
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Auction of Lot

The auction of a lot is an activity with an aim of obtaining the highest price for object or objects available in that lot. It is normally carried out by an auctioneer employed by the auction house organization. The price increases as people make bids, and the highest bidder is the winner of the auction. The details of the individual bids are not normally known, however whether there were bids but no sale is sometimes available. The auction of lot then causes the Provenance activity that describes the purchase, with the transfer of ownership, custody and payments.

The model uses an Activity for the auction of lot, which is part_of the Auction event. It uses a Set of objects to link the objects for sale to the activity via the used_specific_object property. Any bidding information is part of the the Auction of Lot, and if the reserve price is met, then a provenance entry representing the purchase of the objects is caused by the Auction of Lot. It can also have all of the regular activity properties to refer to time and place.

Example:

The lot "J-1823-5" was auctioned as part of the Example Auction above, and resulted in a sale.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/24", 
  "type": "Activity", 
  "_label": "Auction of Lot J-1823-5", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300420001", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Auction of Lot"
    }
  ], 
  "carried_out_by": [
    {
      "type": "Person", 
      "_label": "Example Auctioneer"
    }
  ], 
  "used_specific_object": [
    {
      "type": "Set", 
      "_label": "Set of Objects for Lot J-1823-5"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "type": "Activity", 
      "_label": "Bids on Lot J-1823-5"
    }
  ], 
  "caused": [
    {
      "type": "Activity", 
      "_label": "Sale of Lot J-1823-5", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300055863", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Provenance Activity"
        }
      ]
    }
  ], 
  "part_of": [
    {
      "type": "Activity", 
      "_label": "Example Auction"
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(activity24) class O1 event; O1-- type -->O1_0[Activity] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Auction of Lot J-1823-5''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300420001) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Auction of Lot''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 actor; O3-- type -->O3_0[Person] class O3_0 classstyle; O3-- _label -->O3_2("''Example Auctioneer''") class O3_2 literal; O1-- carried_out_by -->O3 O4( _ ) class O4 infoobj; O4-- type -->O4_0[Set] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_2("''Set of Objects for Lot J-1823-5''") class O4_2 literal; O1-- used_specific_object -->O4 O5( _ ) class O5 event; O5-- type -->O5_0[Activity] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_2("''Example Auction''") class O5_2 literal; O1-- part_of -->O5 O6( _ ) class O6 event; O6-- type -->O6_0[Activity] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Sale of Lot J-1823-5''") class O6_2 literal; O7(aat:300055863) class O7 type; O7-- type -->O7_0[Type] class O7_0 classstyle; O7-- _label -->O7_3("''Provenance Activity''") class O7_3 literal; O6-- classified_as -->O7 O1-- caused -->O6 O8( _ ) class O8 event; O8-- type -->O8_0[Activity] class O8_0 classstyle; O8-- _label -->O8_2("''Bids on Lot J-1823-5''") class O8_2 literal; O1-- part -->O8
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Known Bid Amounts

Sometimes we also know the monetary amounts that were unsuccessfully bid for the object, regardless of whether the auction eventually ended in a sale or not. These bids are part of the overall bidding activity.

Bids are modeled as the creation of a proposition that the bidder (or the person that an agent is bidding on behalf of) will pay a certain amount of money for the object. In the example below, a known bid is $10,000 but it is not stated whether there was a sale concluded.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/25", 
  "type": "Activity", 
  "_label": "Auction of Lot J-1823-5", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300420001", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Auction of Lot"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "type": "Activity", 
      "_label": "Bids on Lot J-1823-5", 
      "part": [
        {
          "type": "Creation", 
          "_label": "Bid of 10000 dollars", 
          "classified_as": [
            {
              "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300054602", 
              "type": "Type", 
              "_label": "Bidding"
            }
          ], 
          "carried_out_by": [
            {
              "type": "Person", 
              "_label": "Example Bidder"
            }
          ], 
          "created": [
            {
              "type": "PropositionalObject", 
              "refers_to": [
                {
                  "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
                  "value": 10000, 
                  "currency": {
                    "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411994", 
                    "type": "Currency", 
                    "_label": "US Dollars"
                  }
                }
              ]
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(activity25) class O1 event; O1-- type -->O1_0[Activity] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Auction of Lot J-1823-5''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300420001) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Auction of Lot''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 event; O3-- type -->O3_0[Activity] class O3_0 classstyle; O3-- _label -->O3_2("''Bids on Lot J-1823-5''") class O3_2 literal; O4( _ ) class O4 event; O4-- type -->O4_0[Creation] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_2("''Bid of 10000 dollars''") class O4_2 literal; O5(aat:300054602) class O5 type; O5-- type -->O5_0[Type] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_3("''Bidding''") class O5_3 literal; O4-- classified_as -->O5 O6( _ ) class O6 actor; O6-- type -->O6_0[Person] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Example Bidder''") class O6_2 literal; O4-- carried_out_by -->O6 O7( _ ) class O7 infoobj; O7-- type -->O7_0[PropositionalObject] class O7_0 classstyle; O8( _ ) class O8 dims; O8-- type -->O8_0[MonetaryAmount] class O8_0 classstyle; O8-- value -->O8_2(10000) class O8_2 literal; O9(aat:300411994) class O9 type; O9-- type -->O9_0[Currency] class O9_0 classstyle; O9-- _label -->O9_3("''US Dollars''") class O9_3 literal; O8-- currency -->O9 O7-- refers_to -->O8 O4-- created -->O7 O3-- part -->O4 O1-- part -->O3
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Set of Objects

The Lot is a set of objects grouped together for the purposes of the sale, and may potentially have come from different owners. It is frequently assigned an identifying Lot Number by the auction house, and may have a title, description or other properties such as specific price information, discussed in more detail below. The set has members which are the objects for sale.

Example:

Lot "812" consists of a single painting.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/Set/6", 
  "type": "Set", 
  "_label": "Set of Objects for Lot 812", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411307", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Auction Lot"
    }
  ], 
  "identified_by": [
    {
      "type": "Identifier", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300404628", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Lot Number"
        }
      ], 
      "content": "812"
    }, 
    {
      "type": "Name", 
      "content": "One Example Painting"
    }
  ], 
  "member": [
    {
      "type": "HumanMadeObject", 
      "_label": "Example Painting"
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(Set6) class O1 infoobj; O1-- type -->O1_0[Set] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Set of Objects for Lot 812''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300411307) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Auction Lot''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 name; O3-- type -->O3_0[Identifier] class O3_0 classstyle; O4(aat:300404628) class O4 type; O4-- type -->O4_0[Type] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_3("''Lot Number''") class O4_3 literal; O3-- classified_as -->O4 O3-- content -->O3_3("''812''") class O3_3 literal; O1-- identified_by -->O3 O5( _ ) class O5 name; O5-- type -->O5_0[Name] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- content -->O5_2("''One Example Painting''") class O5_2 literal; O1-- identified_by -->O5 O6( _ ) class O6 object; O6-- type -->O6_0[HumanMadeObject] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Example Painting''") class O6_2 literal; O1-- member -->O6
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Pre-set Prices

In auctions, there are several types of monetary values that are useful and interesting to record. There is a significant distinction between the starting price or reserve price for an auction and the regular purchase price of an object, in that even if the auction never takes place, these other prices are still known as they are set in advance.

There are three pre-set prices of interest:

  • Starting Price: (aat:300417242) The price at which the auction will start.
  • Reserve Price: (aat:300417243) The price that must be exceeded for the auction to result in a sale.
  • Estimated Price: (aat:300417244) The price that the auction house estimates will be the final sale price.

These prices are associated with the Set of Objects that the Auction of Lot is intended to sell. In this way, even if the auction never takes place, there is still the set of objects to associate the prices with. In order to associate a monetary value with an object, it is treated as an observed dimension.

Example:

A lot with a starting price of $500, a reserve price of $3000 and an estimated price of $4000:

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/Set/7", 
  "type": "Set", 
  "_label": "Set of Objects for Lot 812", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411307", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Auction Lot"
    }
  ], 
  "dimension": [
    {
      "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300417242", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Starting Price"
        }
      ], 
      "value": 500, 
      "currency": {
        "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411994", 
        "type": "Currency", 
        "_label": "US Dollars"
      }
    }, 
    {
      "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300417244", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Estimated Price"
        }
      ], 
      "value": 4000, 
      "currency": {
        "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411994", 
        "type": "Currency", 
        "_label": "US Dollars"
      }
    }, 
    {
      "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300417243", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Reserve Price"
        }
      ], 
      "value": 3000, 
      "currency": {
        "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411994", 
        "type": "Currency", 
        "_label": "US Dollars"
      }
    }
  ], 
  "member": [
    {
      "type": "HumanMadeObject", 
      "_label": "Example Painting"
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(Set7) class O1 infoobj; O1-- type -->O1_0[Set] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Set of Objects for Lot 812''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300411307) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Auction Lot''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 dims; O3-- type -->O3_0[MonetaryAmount] class O3_0 classstyle; O4(aat:300417242) class O4 type; O4-- type -->O4_0[Type] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_3("''Starting Price''") class O4_3 literal; O3-- classified_as -->O4 O3-- value -->O3_3(500) class O3_3 literal; O5(aat:300411994) class O5 type; O5-- type -->O5_0[Currency] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_3("''US Dollars''") class O5_3 literal; O3-- currency -->O5 O1-- dimension -->O3 O6( _ ) class O6 dims; O6-- type -->O6_0[MonetaryAmount] class O6_0 classstyle; O7(aat:300417244) class O7 type; O7-- type -->O7_0[Type] class O7_0 classstyle; O7-- _label -->O7_3("''Estimated Price''") class O7_3 literal; O6-- classified_as -->O7 O6-- value -->O6_3(4000) class O6_3 literal; O6-- currency -->O5 O1-- dimension -->O6 O8( _ ) class O8 dims; O8-- type -->O8_0[MonetaryAmount] class O8_0 classstyle; O9(aat:300417243) class O9 type; O9-- type -->O9_0[Type] class O9_0 classstyle; O9-- _label -->O9_3("''Reserve Price''") class O9_3 literal; O8-- classified_as -->O9 O8-- value -->O8_3(3000) class O8_3 literal; O8-- currency -->O5 O1-- dimension -->O8 O10( _ ) class O10 object; O10-- type -->O10_0[HumanMadeObject] class O10_0 classstyle; O10-- _label -->O10_2("''Example Painting''") class O10_2 literal; O1-- member -->O10
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Purchase of Lot

The purchase of the lot is very similar to the purchase of any other object, however there is an explicit reference to the set of objects. The set is only a temporary grouping, put together only for the purpose of this particular auction and is not something which can be owned directly. As such, each object has its own acquisition as part of the provenance event. Conversely, there is only a single payment for the entire lot.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/26", 
  "type": "Activity", 
  "_label": "Purchase via Lot 812", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300055863", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Provenance Activity"
    }
  ], 
  "used_specific_object": [
    {
      "type": "Set", 
      "_label": "Set of Objects for Lot 812"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "type": "Acquisition", 
      "_label": "Acquisition of Painting via Lot 812", 
      "transferred_title_of": [
        {
          "type": "HumanMadeObject", 
          "_label": "Example Painting"
        }
      ], 
      "transferred_title_from": [
        {
          "type": "Person", 
          "_label": "Seller"
        }
      ], 
      "transferred_title_to": [
        {
          "type": "Person", 
          "_label": "Buyer"
        }
      ]
    }, 
    {
      "type": "Payment", 
      "_label": "Payment for Lot 812", 
      "paid_amount": {
        "type": "MonetaryAmount", 
        "value": 4500, 
        "currency": {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411994", 
          "type": "Currency", 
          "_label": "US Dollars"
        }
      }, 
      "paid_from": [
        {
          "type": "Person", 
          "_label": "Buyer"
        }
      ], 
      "paid_to": [
        {
          "type": "Person", 
          "_label": "Seller"
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(activity26) class O1 event; O1-- type -->O1_0[Activity] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Purchase via Lot 812''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300055863) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Provenance Activity''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 infoobj; O3-- type -->O3_0[Set] class O3_0 classstyle; O3-- _label -->O3_2("''Set of Objects for Lot 812''") class O3_2 literal; O1-- used_specific_object -->O3 O4( _ ) class O4 event; O4-- type -->O4_0[Acquisition] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_2("''Acquisition of Painting via Lot 812''") class O4_2 literal; O5( _ ) class O5 object; O5-- type -->O5_0[HumanMadeObject] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_2("''Example Painting''") class O5_2 literal; O4-- transferred_title_of -->O5 O6( _ ) class O6 actor; O6-- type -->O6_0[Person] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Seller''") class O6_2 literal; O4-- transferred_title_from -->O6 O7( _ ) class O7 actor; O7-- type -->O7_0[Person] class O7_0 classstyle; O7-- _label -->O7_2("''Buyer''") class O7_2 literal; O4-- transferred_title_to -->O7 O1-- part -->O4 O8( _ ) class O8 event; O8-- type -->O8_0[Payment] class O8_0 classstyle; O8-- _label -->O8_2("''Payment for Lot 812''") class O8_2 literal; O9( _ ) class O9 dims; O9-- type -->O9_0[MonetaryAmount] class O9_0 classstyle; O9-- value -->O9_2(4500) class O9_2 literal; O10(aat:300411994) class O10 type; O10-- type -->O10_0[Currency] class O10_0 classstyle; O10-- _label -->O10_3("''US Dollars''") class O10_3 literal; O9-- currency -->O10 O8-- paid_amount -->O9 O11( _ ) class O11 actor; O11-- type -->O11_0[Person] class O11_0 classstyle; O11-- _label -->O11_2("''Buyer''") class O11_2 literal; O8-- paid_from -->O11 O12( _ ) class O12 actor; O12-- type -->O12_0[Person] class O12_0 classstyle; O12-- _label -->O12_2("''Seller''") class O12_2 literal; O8-- paid_to -->O12 O1-- part -->O8
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Other Results

Not every auction of lot results in a purchase, and not every lot that is advertised in an auction catalog is actually presented for sale. Objects can be withdrawn, reserve prices might not be met, the winner might not be able to pay, or the owner might bid on their own objects to determine or drive up their value. These scenarios are discussed in this section as to how they can be described using the model.

Lot Withdrawn

It is possible that an auction lot is withdrawn from the auction before the auction of lot occurs. The auction catalog will record the objects in the lot, and is valuable for the historical record to know that they were offered for sale and then withdrawn.

In this case, there should be a catalog entry and the auction lot set that the entry describes, but no corresponding auction of lot activity, as it did not take place. The date can be calculated from the dates of the auction event, to position the objects in time. In some cases, where the auctioned objects are all from a single person or organization, this would also establish evidence of ownership at that time.

Object Withdrawn from Lot

It can also be that a single object is withdrawn from a Lot with multiple objects, which is otherwise sold. In this case, the withdrawn object is returned to the owner as part of the provenance event that is caused by the auction of the lot which still takes place. That return has a specific purpose that can distinguish withdrawn objects from objects that are returned for other reasons below.

Reserve Not Met

Another scenario is when the auction of lot does take place, but there is no purchase because a reserve price was not met. This is often referred to as being "Bought In", or sometimes "Passed".

In this case the auction of lot activity does occur, but there may or may not have been any bidding. It does result in a provenance entry, as for the auction house organization to be able to auction it, they must have had some degree of custody of the object. There may also be a commission paid from the owner to the auction house for running the auction, even though it was ultimately unsuccessful.

Example:

A painting put up for auction is returned to the owner, as it was not sold to someone else. The Provenance Entry below would be caused by the Auction of Lot activity. This example is also appropriate to the following use cases as well.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/activity/27", 
  "type": "Activity", 
  "_label": "Return to Owner from Auction House", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300055863", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Provenance Activity"
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "type": "TransferOfCustody", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300438467", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Return of Loan"
        }
      ], 
      "transferred_custody_of": [
        {
          "type": "HumanMadeObject", 
          "_label": "Painting"
        }
      ], 
      "transferred_custody_from": [
        {
          "type": "Group", 
          "_label": "Auction House"
        }
      ], 
      "transferred_custody_to": [
        {
          "type": "Person", 
          "_label": "Owner"
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(activity27) class O1 event; O1-- type -->O1_0[Activity] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Return to Owner from Auction House''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300055863) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Provenance Activity''") class O2_3 literal; O1-- classified_as -->O2 O3( _ ) class O3 event; O3-- type -->O3_0[TransferOfCustody] class O3_0 classstyle; O4(aat:300438467) class O4 type; O4-- type -->O4_0[Type] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_3("''Return of Loan''") class O4_3 literal; O3-- classified_as -->O4 O5( _ ) class O5 object; O5-- type -->O5_0[HumanMadeObject] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_2("''Painting''") class O5_2 literal; O3-- transferred_custody_of -->O5 O6( _ ) class O6 actor; O6-- type -->O6_0[Group] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Auction House''") class O6_2 literal; O3-- transferred_custody_from -->O6 O7( _ ) class O7 actor; O7-- type -->O7_0[Person] class O7_0 classstyle; O7-- _label -->O7_2("''Owner''") class O7_2 literal; O3-- transferred_custody_to -->O7 O1-- part -->O3
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)

Bought by Owner

In some cases the owner of the object actively bids on their own items, either directly or via an agent, and ends up bidding the highest amount, and thereby winning the lot. This is different to the bought in case, as in that case the reserve was not met, and in this case it was. This was sometimes done intentionally to determine what the market would bear for an object, or to drive up the price of related objects by providing a precedent.

As the owner cannot sell the object to themselves, this does not result in a change of ownership. In the same way as when the reserve is not met, there is a change of custody from the owner to the auction house and back again, and might involve paying commission to the auction house for the "sale". Conversely, in this case we do know that there was bidding as there was a "sale", even if there was not a transfer of ownership.

Winner Unable to Pay

And in other cases, someone successfully wins the auction other than the owner, but is unable to pay. In this case there was a bid, the promise to pay a given amount, but no subsequent fulfillment of the promise with a payment. Again, this results in the transfer of custody of the object from the auction house back to the owner. The bid amount can be recorded as described in the bidding section.

It is not often to know that this has occured, unless the information is coming either directly from the auction house or from the owner. This might happen when an art dealer auctions an object, and then records the return of the object in their stock management system.

Auction Catalog

Much of the information we have about historical auctions comes from Auction Catalogs. These documents thus provide the primary source of evidence, and can be linked to the descriptions of the activities. These follow the same model as other documents.

{
  "@context": "https://linked.art/ns/v1/linked-art.json", 
  "id": "https://linked.art/example/text/7", 
  "type": "LinguisticObject", 
  "_label": "Auction Catalog of Example Auction", 
  "classified_as": [
    {
      "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300026068", 
      "type": "Type", 
      "_label": "Auction Catalog", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300435443", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Type of Work"
        }
      ]
    }
  ], 
  "refers_to": [
    {
      "type": "Activity", 
      "_label": "Example Auction, 1924", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300054751", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Auction Event"
        }
      ]
    }
  ], 
  "part": [
    {
      "type": "LinguisticObject", 
      "_label": "Entry for Lot 812", 
      "classified_as": [
        {
          "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300417223", 
          "type": "Type", 
          "_label": "Paragraph"
        }
      ], 
      "refers_to": [
        {
          "type": "Activity", 
          "_label": "Auction of Lot 812", 
          "classified_as": [
            {
              "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300420001", 
              "type": "Type", 
              "_label": "Auction of Lot"
            }
          ]
        }, 
        {
          "type": "Set", 
          "_label": "Lot 812", 
          "classified_as": [
            {
              "id": "http://vocab.getty.edu/aat/300411307", 
              "type": "Type", 
              "_label": "Auction Lot"
            }
          ]
        }
      ]
    }
  ]
}
graph TD classDef object stroke:black,fill:#E1BA9C,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef actor stroke:black,fill:#FFBDCA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef type stroke:red,fill:#FAB565,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef name stroke:orange,fill:#FEF3BA,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef dims stroke:black,fill:#c6c6c6,rx:20px,ry:20px; classDef infoobj stroke:#907010,fill:#fffa40,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef timespan stroke:blue,fill:#ddfffe,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef place stroke:#3a7a3a,fill:#aff090,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef event stroke:#1010FF,fill:#96e0f6,rx:20px,ry:20px classDef literal stroke:black,fill:#f0f0e0; classDef classstyle stroke:black,fill:white; O1(text7) class O1 infoobj; O1-- type -->O1_0[LinguisticObject] class O1_0 classstyle; O1-- _label -->O1_4("''Auction Catalog of Example Auction''") class O1_4 literal; O2(aat:300026068) class O2 type; O2-- type -->O2_0[Type] class O2_0 classstyle; O2-- _label -->O2_3("''Auction Catalog''") class O2_3 literal; O3(aat:300435443) class O3 type; O3-- type -->O3_0[Type] class O3_0 classstyle; O3-- _label -->O3_3("''Type of Work''") class O3_3 literal; O2-- classified_as -->O3 O1-- classified_as -->O2 O4( _ ) class O4 event; O4-- type -->O4_0[Activity] class O4_0 classstyle; O4-- _label -->O4_2("''Example Auction, 1924''") class O4_2 literal; O5(aat:300054751) class O5 type; O5-- type -->O5_0[Type] class O5_0 classstyle; O5-- _label -->O5_3("''Auction Event''") class O5_3 literal; O4-- classified_as -->O5 O1-- refers_to -->O4 O6( _ ) class O6 infoobj; O6-- type -->O6_0[LinguisticObject] class O6_0 classstyle; O6-- _label -->O6_2("''Entry for Lot 812''") class O6_2 literal; O7(aat:300417223) class O7 type; O7-- type -->O7_0[Type] class O7_0 classstyle; O7-- _label -->O7_3("''Paragraph''") class O7_3 literal; O6-- classified_as -->O7 O8( _ ) class O8 event; O8-- type -->O8_0[Activity] class O8_0 classstyle; O8-- _label -->O8_2("''Auction of Lot 812''") class O8_2 literal; O9(aat:300420001) class O9 type; O9-- type -->O9_0[Type] class O9_0 classstyle; O9-- _label -->O9_3("''Auction of Lot''") class O9_3 literal; O8-- classified_as -->O9 O6-- refers_to -->O8 O10( _ ) class O10 infoobj; O10-- type -->O10_0[Set] class O10_0 classstyle; O10-- _label -->O10_2("''Lot 812''") class O10_2 literal; O11(aat:300411307) class O11 type; O11-- type -->O11_0[Type] class O11_0 classstyle; O11-- _label -->O11_3("''Auction Lot''") class O11_3 literal; O10-- classified_as -->O11 O6-- refers_to -->O10 O1-- part -->O6
Other Representations: JSON-LD (Raw) | JSON-LD (Playground) | Turtle (Raw) | Turtle (Styled)