With the lockdowns of last year, families with young children are not the only ones feeling stir-crazy. High-net-worth individuals around the globe are itching to get out and return to the auction house.

As Jacob Bernstein wrote in the New York Times recently, “bored rich people” are turning luxury collections into “alternative asset classes”. Pent-up demand for jewellery, watches, furniture, collectible cards, vintage cars, limited-edition sneakers and even digital art is driving prices sky-high, says Bernstein, noting that many retailers were hesitant to speak of the boom owing to the current economic uncertainty.

Just like the proliferation of e-commerce last year, auction houses have had to shift online for much of 2020. But auctions were largely a seller’s market, notes Guillaume Cerutti, CEO of Christie’s.

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