Web-Based Fine and Decorative Arts Personal Shopper Service Goes Live at NicForrest.com

I have been keeping you all in suspense for quite a while in relation to the big new project I have been working on over the last year. Finally I can announce the details of the project which you can see below:

Nic Forrest – nicforrest.com

For Immediate Release

Web-Based Fine and Decorative Arts Personal Shopper Service Goes Live at NicForrest.com

Sourcing Items of Fine and Decorative Art Made Easy with Launch of Innovative Global Online Personal Shopper Service for Discerning Interior Decorators

London, November 6, 2009 — NicForrest.com is the home of a new global web-based fine and decorative arts personal shopper service that provides discerning interior decorators and designers with a simple and effective solution to the difficulties associated with sourcing specific items of fine and decorative art.  The often frustrating task of locating hard-to-find interior pieces can now become an enjoyable experience, with access to the expertise and extensive global network of Nicholas Forrest — a Sydney and London based broker of fine objects, interior style consultant and world renowned art adviser/art critic — now one click away.

Nic adds: “By launching NicForrest.com I am able to offer personal one-on-one assistance to anyone, anywhere in the world who wishes to be united with those special objects that transform interior spaces into special places.  From interior designers who require a collection of fine objects to decorate a large commercial space, to discerning private clients who are searching for one or more special items to enhance a living space, NicForrest.com can cater to the needs of clients at all levels.”

As well as sourcing fine objects, Nic also offers several other services via NicForrest.com.  The range of services Nic provides includes:

–  Sourcing and purchasing specific fine objects (fine art, antiques, objects of design, objets d’art etc.) for residential and commercial clients

–  Arranging worldwide transportation and installation of objects purchased

–  Interior styling advice for clients who have a vision and a budget but do not have specific objects in mind

–  Advice on the acquisition of works of art/antiques/objets d’art for private and corporate collections as well as for investment purposes

Whether it is an antique or a piece of contemporary design that someone is searching for , NicForrest.com combines the services of a personal shopper with the knowledge and contacts of a professional broker of fine objects to provide an unrivalled service.  Nic explains:  “Because of the experience, knowledge and contacts I have acquired, and my standing in the art and antiques industry, I have the privilege of being in a position that enables me to utilise a global network of dealers, collectors, retailers and wholesalers to quickly locate the particular object/s that clients have been searching for at the best price.”

For further information, please contact:
Nic Forrest

Owner, NicForrest.com
Tel:  0787 869 7651 (UK)

Tel: +44 (0)787 869 7651 (INTL.)
Email:  nic@nicforrest.com
Site:  http://www.nicforrest.com

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/nicholasforrest


About Nic:

Nic Forrest is a Sydney/London based professional broker of fine objects, interior style consultant and art adviser.  As well as being the founder and author of artmarketblog.com, Nic has been published in many magazines and newspapers and has appeared on several radio programs (national and international) as an art market expert.  He has also been invited to be a guest lecturer at the Sotheby’s institute in Singapore for their MA Art Business program.

Chinese Artefacts Attract Massive Prices – artmarketblog.com

Chinese Artefacts Attract Massive Prices – artmarketblog.com

Chinese famille rose bowl - Sold for $115,000 against a $300 estimate at Brunk Auctions

Chinese famille rose bowl - Sold for $115,000 against a $300 estimate at Brunk Auctions

I don’t think that many people, except maybe the Chinese, realise how much wealth exists in China as well as other areas of Asia.  The last few weeks have produced many examples of the unjustifiably massive amounts of money that are being paid for objects of Chinese decorative art by wealthy Chinese collectors.  Take, for instance, the AU$32,000 paid for a Chinese carved wooden panel by a Chinese collector at an Australian auction which had an original estimate of AU$600.  How about the US$58,400 achieved at an iGavel.com online auction for a large modern Chinese carved celadon jade phoenix form vase against an estimate of only US$1200 -$1800 – a huge amount for what was identified by iGavel as a modern piece with no real historical or provenencial value.

Christie’s Asian Art Week produced even more astonishing results that really do make one question the motivation of the buyers, as well as their sanity.  How much disposable wealth would one have to have to pay US$1,426,500 for a Chinese Zitan stand and cover that was originally estimated to sell for between US$20,000 and $30,000.  Yes, it is a very rare object, but paying almost one and a half million dollars for it when it was valued at around one sixtieth of that amount seems ridiculous.  Almost as crazy was the US$362,000 paid for a Chinese bronze ritual food vessel that also had a US$20,000-$30,000 estimate.

Over at North Carolina USA based Brunk Auctions (http://www.brunkauctions.com/), two Chinese items fetched well over (actually massively over!!) their estimate.  The first, a small Chinese porcelain bowl (see image), went for an amazing US$115,000 against an estimate of US$300, and a Chinese vase soared to US$105,800 against a US$4000 estimate.

A VERY RARE IMPERIALLY INSCRIBED ZITAN STAND AND COVER sold by Christies for $1,426,500 against an estimate of $20,000 - 30,000

A VERY RARE IMPERIALLY INSCRIBED ZITAN STAND AND COVER sold by Christies for $1,426,500 against an estimate of $20,000 - 30,000

A sale price for an item at auction that massively exceeds the estimate is usually put down to an incorrect appraisal by the auction house – as long as it is an isolated incident.  The sheer number of Chinese items of decorative art that are selling for prices well above their appraised value could not be all the result of incorrect valuation or assessment.  So what is driving the market for these objects to such dizzying heights?.  I suspect that pride and status have a significant role to play.  No disrespect to Asian men, but they do tend to be very proud and do not like to be beaten.  There is also the bragging rights that paying ridiculous amounts of money for an object can bring. Yes, some of the objects being purchased are rare but not rare enough to justify the prices being paid.   I can’t help but think back to the art market boom of the late 80’s, early 90’s, when wealthy Japanese business men drove the market for Impressionist works of art into the stratosphere.   Quality was not of great concern to these Japanese buyers who were more interested in art as a status symbol than anything else.  I suspect that we are seeing a similar situation at the moment with wealthy Chinese buyers and Chinese artefacts.

China is undoubtedly a source of great wealth and appears to not have been as severely affected by the global financial crisis as the USA or England. There appears to be a large number of wealthy Chinese buyers who have enough disposable income to make completely unjustifiable and quite frankly absurd purchases. One cannot help but predict that China will continue to become an even strong force on the global market for art and fine objects in the near future. Be wary though, such wealth and careless spending is a recipe for super inflated prices.

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Asian Decorative Arts Fever at iGavel – artmarketblog.com

Asian Decorative Arts Fever at iGavel – artmarketblog.com

Chinese Imperial Bamboo Brushpot, 18th c.

Chinese Imperial Bamboo Brushpot, 18th c.

Recent results from auctions of Asian art conducted by Sotheby’s in Hong Kong show that there is high demand for modern and contemporary Asian art and that there are plenty of Asian buyers with plenty of money to spend. Also proving popular are Asian decorative arts, Asian antique decorative cultural objects and ethnographic works of art, the best of which are in very high demand at the moment as is evident by the success achieved by iGavel (http://www.igavel.com) with their recent online auctions of such items. In fact, the prices being achieved by iGavel are astonishing. Take, for instance, an auction conducted by iGavel in March where a pair of large Chinese porcelain panels sold for US$16,000 (hammer price) against an estimate of US$500-$1000 and a Sino-Tibetan gilt bronze buddha made US$11,000 against an estimate of US$500.00 to 800.00. In April, an Antiques, Asian & Tribal auction produced even more astounding results with one of the top lots, a Chinese 17th/18th c. parcel gilt & polychromed iron seated figure of an immortal, selling for US$38,500 after 44 bids against an estimate of US$5000-7000. Also selling for many times their estimates were:
– A Chinese gilt decorated archaic style bronze water buffalo-form incense burner which sold for US$28,000 against an estimate of US$1000-1500
– A Chinese carved pale green jade teapot circa 18th which sold for US$19,900 against an estimate of US$3000-5000

Chinese White Jade Figure of Buddha

Chinese White Jade Figure of Buddha

The May Asian, Ancient and Ethnographic Works of Art sale saw iGavel raise the bar even higher when a record price of US$105,010 (US$126,012.00 including premium) against an estimate of $80,000-$120,000 was paid for an amazing recently rediscovered Chinese 18th c. imperial bamboo brushpot that had been mounted as a lamp. Fierce competition saw the starting price of $7500 rapidly rise with a total of 51 bids being taken before a new buyer was found. Lark Mason, the founder of iGavel and an Asian art expert, was responsible for the identification of the brushpot which depicts the cultivation of cotton. It took 40 bids to decide a new owner for a modern gilt bronze figure of Maitreya which sold for US$21,000 against an estimate of US$3000-5000 and 21 bids for a Chinese 18th/19th c. White Jade Figure of Buddha, formerly of the Pan-Asian Collection, which reached US$13,500 against an estimate of US$2000-3000. Other exception results included:

-A set of ten modern Chinese celadon jade zodiac figures which sold for US$10,000 against an estimate of US$700-$900
-A 19th c. Chinese porcelain flambe glazed bottle vase which sold for US$8610 against an estimate of US$800-$1200
-A 20th C. Chinese spinach jade tripod censer and cover which sold for US$6500 against an estimate of US$500-$800
-A 20th C. Chinese carved green jade vase and cover which sold for US$5000 against an estimate of US$400-$600

According to iGavel, mainland Chinese buyers dominated the bidding which suggests that there is a high demand in China for objects that have cultural or historical significance for the Chinese and that there is plenty of money in China to purchase these items. Buying back objects of cultural and historical significance that have been taken out of the country appears to be high on the agenda for Chinese collectors in the same way that the Russian collectors started buying back their heritage a few years ago. It is encouraging to see that the global financial crisis appears to have not affected the market for art in the Asia region as much as many would have predicted and that buyers are showing an interest in a wide range of objects from the contemporary to the classical.

It is great to see that buyers are willing to spend so much money online via iGavel, a reflection perhaps of iGavel’s focus on quality and authenticity. The success that iGavel has had with their auctions of Asian art may be partly due to buyers in Asia being able to purchase items online all of which have guarantees for authenticity and condition. Also adding to the legitimacy of the items being offered for sale by iGavel is the fact that the founder of iGavel, Lark Mason, is a highly respected expert in the Asian Art field known to many from his appearances in the PBS series, The Antiques Roadshow. All in all, iGavel should be congratulated for the success that they achieve with their online auctions.

For more information on iGavel visit http://www.igavel.com
**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.

Catching the Dec Arts Express – artmarketblog.com

Catching the Dec Arts Express – artmarketblog.com

picasso-pitcherThe success of the recent Sculpture Objects and Functional Art fair (SOFA) in New York (April 16-19) is confirmation that the market for design art and decorative arts continues to gain strength. As artists continue to explore the boundaries of artistic production, the acceptance of functional objects and decorative arts as fine art continues to increase. What were once considered to be second rate artistic mediums are now beginning to be recognised as being as equally important and worthy of attention as the mediums that traditionally come under the fine art banner. Although shows such as SOFA focus on contemporary design and decorative arts, fine artists have been dabbling in alternative mediums for centuries the results of which have been considerably under-rated until now.

Picasso is one artist who wasn’t afraid to put down the paint brush and explore alternative mediums as is evident from the extensive variety of ceramics that he produced. Picasso produced thousands of ceramic works throughout his career most of which are just as appealing and unique as his paintings. Take, for example, the limited edition ceramic pitcher titled “Pichet Anse Prise” that Picasso designed in 1953 – one of which is currently being auctioned on igavel. Produced in an edition of 200 by Madoura Pottery, “Pichet Anse Prise” is a fantastic example of Picasso’s ability to adapt his technique and style to an object as mundane as a pitcher. When Picasso does his version of the pitcher, however, mundane is the last word one could use to describe the result.

Currently being auctioned on igavel are two ceramic works by Picasso the first of which is the ‘Owl” ceramic glazed pitcher and the second being the ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ pitcher that I mentioned above. My pick of the two is the ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ pitcher which had not received any bids at the time of writing. This object would still be a great buy even if it does reach the $2500-3500 estimate considering the last recorded sale of one of the edition was in November 2006 when Christies sold 128/200 for USD 3,152. With the increased interest in decorative arts and functional art I believe that the value of such objects can only increase

To view and bid on the ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ pitcher being sold on igavel visit:


Pablo Picasso, French, 1881-1973, ‘Pichet Anse Prise’ Unglazed Ceramic Pitcher, stamped, marked and stamped with Madoura mark, ‘Edition Picasso’, with impressed marks ‘Edition Picasso 141/200 Madoura’, Madoura plein Feu/Edition, Conceived on 4th April 1953 and executed in an edition of 200.

‘Pichet Anse Prise’ by Picasso

**Nicholas Forrest is an art market analyst, art critic and journalist based in Sydney, Australia. He is the founder of http://www.artmarketblog.com, writes the art column for the magazine Antiques and Collectibles for Pleasure and Profit and contributes to many other publications.