Page last updated at 12:02 GMT, Thursday, 16 July 2009 13:02 UK

Auction house rings the changes

Christie's hope it will be able to introduce live auction bidding

Christie's auction house is bringing art into the digital age with a new application for the iPhone.

Users will be able to view lots on offer, follow real-time sales results and submit items for expert appraisal.

The auction house, founded in 1766, hopes the new technology will attract new clients, as the recession continues to have a negative effect on prices.

Michael O'Neal, director of digital media, said he hoped it would also be a "convenient tool" for current clients.

Live bidding

He added: "The Christie's app ensures our existing and potential buyers are always in touch and informed of our latest offerings, no matter where they may be.

"New advancements in mobile devices now allow for a very rich visual experience perfectly suited to viewing Christie's broad array of offerings, including fine art, jewels, decorative objects, furniture, and fine and rare wines."

Christie's hopes to eventually add a component that would allow live auction bidding.

The move comes a year after the auction house began a text-messaging service to update clients about forthcoming sales and price updates during bidding.

In 2008, around 11% of all lots sold came from online bids to Christie's LIVE website.

Christie's is the latest cultural institution to embrace iPhone technology.

Last month, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra began offering a free application for users to listen to music, look up event information and purchase tickets.

It is also possible to take a mini tour of The National Gallery, in London, through the museum's own application.

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