Tiroche Auction House - Revolutionizing how Israeli art is sold.

Amitai Hazan tells of the auction house that is revolutionizing trade in Israeli and Jewish art.

Mordechai Sones,

Reuven Rubin, Shaykh-Munis 1923-1924, oil on canvas
Reuven Rubin, Shaykh-Munis 1923-1924, oil on canvas
צילום: Tiroche Auction House

Amitai Hazan is General Manager of the Tiroche Auction House. The auction house was established in 1992, by Hazan's father and uncle. Hazan is a third-generation art collector, and the family had galleries before in Tel Aviv and the United States.

As an auction house, Tiroche acts as a mediator between sellers and buyers, dealing mainly in the work of established, well-known Israeli artists such as Reuven Rubin, Nachum Gutman, Yossel Berner, and many more.

With continued Internet development people are becoming more and more exposed to this method of doing business, and it is increasing in popularity. Many established art collectors who have been in the field for years use this as their preferred method. They have thousands of clients in Israel and more than ten-thousand clients internationally.

Reuven Rubin, Shaykh-Munis 1923-1924, oil on canvas, 80X65 cm. Estimate: $ 150,000 – 200,000 Sold for $ 530,000 Tiroche Auction House

Being online enhances the auction experience. Live auctions are broadcast and bidders can sit at home in the U.S., Hong Kong, Brazil, and participate online, but besides the excitement, the best feature of this method is that it allows Israeli artists to sell their art worldwide.

Israeli art holds a special place in the hearts of overseas collectors. But in many cases collectors wishing to sell Israeli art they'd collected in the 50's or 60's may not receive full value because overseas mediators lack experience evaluating Israeli art. Tiroche Auction House has become the default mediator for knowledgeable art traders all over the world.

People can send photographs of art they have at home, collected perhaps years ago, or even bought in Israel 50 years ago, and Tiroche experts skilfully evaluate the work for them free of charge, appraising the client whether the art is worth $100 or $200,000. They then offer help selling the item.

Moderchai Levanon, Safed, watercolor on paper, 70X50 cm. Estimate: $700 – 1,000 Sold for: $16,000. Tiroche Auction House

Auctions take place only in Israel, but much art is received from abroad, as collectors understand they can get better value selling in Israel than were they to sell locally. So they ship the works from wherever they may be: Canada, Switzerland, or London for example to Israel, where it is resold, about 25% returning abroad, and the rest staying in Israel.

Hazan tells of interesting collections, each of which has its own story. He has come across artwork from the collection of Yitzchak Rabin, the Baroness de Rothschild, Abba Eban, Teddy Kollek ... he rolls the names off nonchalantly.

Yosl Bergner, Double sided: Forest Dance, 1945-1946, oil on Masonite, 45X38 cm. Estimate: $25,000 – 35,000 Sold for: $63,000. Tiroche Auction House

He tells one story about a watercolor from an artist named Mordechai Levanon. Usually a work of that kind is estimated for no more than $1,000-$1,500. The unique thing about this watercolor was that it had been given to Prime Minister Golda Meir for her 70th birthday from all the ministers in her government, who signed the back of the painting and congratulated her. This watercolor - that usually would sell for $1,000, and started at that price at auction - was ultimately sold for $17,000.

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