First eBay-Sotheby's live auction to be held Wednesday

An eBay sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, California, in this file photo taken May 28, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS
An eBay sign is seen at an office building in San Jose, California, in this file photo taken May 28, 2014. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (AFP) - The first live auction from a collaboration between Sotheby's and online giant eBay was set for Wednesday, bringing together both in-person and virtual bidders.

The auctions will include a collection of photography and a separate sale of prints, paintings, sculpture and other works.

"The experience enables art aficionados and casual collectors alike to participate in Sotheby's live auctions anytime, anywhere with the same confidence and access of those bidding in person in the New York salesroom," the companies said in a statement.

These auctions will feature high-resolution images, hosted video capabilities, live streaming audio and video, and a "museum view" which simulates experience of walking through a museum or gallery.

"Participants - regardless of their location - see the exact same item and current real-time bidding online and experience real-time bidding sensitive to the millisecond, allowing them to bid as if they were lifting a paddle with every click of the mouse," the statement said.

The first auction will feature photographs from the 19th century to the modern era including from Paul Strand, Lee Friedlander, Laszlo Moholy-Nagy, Man Ray, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Helmut Newton and Annie Leibovitz.

The second auction called "The New York Sale" includes prints, photographs, paintings, sculptures, silver, books and jewellery as well as iconic New York memorabilia.

One of the items is a Statue of Liberty bronze model that is nearly 3 metres tall and was molded in 2010 from a cast created by the monument's creator Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, estimated to be worth between US$800,000 (S$1.1 million) and US$1.2 million.

California-based eBay has some 155 million customers around the world, and has long been involved in the sale of art and collectibles.

By accessing eBay's huge audience, Sotheby's increases the potential for bidding competition and, by extension, bigger payoffs on art or collectibles.