Jack Butler Yeats – A Whale of a Sale

Some eyes may have been transfixed by the sight of the beached whale in the River Thames this weekend but thousands more were drawn to the Yeats sale run by Encore Auctions on eBay.

Encore is part of Invaluable, the largest aggregator in the world of upcoming lots from bricks and mortar salerooms. Some 2,000 auction houses contribute their catalogues to Invaluable which then searches them electronically to identify items that meet the specific criteria of subscribers.

These subscribers, typically dealers, collectors and museums, utilise Encore Auctions to sell items that failed to sell first time around through other means or to seek an innovative way to market their inventory to a different user base. More and more Invaluable subscribers are successfully taking up this option but none more so than the vendor of the pen, ink and watercolour drawing by famed Irish artist, Jack Butler Yeats.

This equine image, entitled The Favourite, attracted an initial bid of £12,000 and hundreds of page views as the quality of the picture and its provenance became clear. Yeats (1871 – 1957 ) is one of Ireland’s favourite sons, part of an established and talented family, and the level of interest was not a complete surprise. Innumerable visitors to the Invaluable eBay store testified to this but, ultimately, this prized work was very keenly contested.

The picture eventually sold for £40,300, way in excess of the vendor’s expectations, as a private buyer fought off a London dealer to secure it. This transaction confirms Encore as a very desirable place to list items as it can tap into the diverse but high quality clientele of both Invaluable and eBay.

Expect to see other fascinating items emerge on Encore shortly but, if you want to enjoy a whale of a sale yourself, please don’t hesitate to get in touch to list items and achieve some record prices of your own.

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