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“See it on the split screens—the future of auctioneering,” pronounced Oliver Barker, Sotheby’s sharp-suited chairman, Europe, and master of digitalised ceremonies as he opened the company’s livestreamed £150m Rembrandt to Richter sale in London in July.

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Watched by an online audience of 150,000, this was the second of Sotheby’s new “multi-camera global livestream” evening sales, featuring an auctioneer alone in a hi-tech control room, taking digitally beamed bids from colleagues and clients around the world.

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