YSL Collection Boosts French Market Share – artmarketblog.com

YSL Auction Boosts French Market Share – artmarketblog.com

yslThe Bergé -YSL sale was a historical sale in more than one sense: the €373.5m total for the three-day auction is the world record for a private collection and the European record for an art sale of any sort. Moreover, the collection’s Fine Art generated a sum equivalent to 66.7% of total 2008 art auction sales in Paris and 53.2% of total French art auction revenue in 2008. Indeed, this total of €206m ($264.9m) for art works (excluding antiques, furniture and objects) could well modify the 2009 global auction revenue ranking by allowing France to recover the third place it has lost to China since 2007.

The first session of Christie’s Bergé – YSL sale opened on 23 February just as Wall Street posted its lowest level for 12 years (S&P 500 at 743.33 points). Despite the economic and financial alarm bells, Artprice’s AMCI suggested strong buy intentions from art market players (70.8% of respondents). These intentions were confirmed on the first day of Impressionist and Modern art sales which generated a total of €182m, a figure substantially higher than the previous world record for a private collection sale: €163,6m from the Victor and Sally Ganz collection in 1997 at Christie’s New York.

By the end of the evening on Monday 23 February, Christie’s had generated a number of new records for works by the grand masters of Modern art. These included €32m for Henri MATISSE’s Les Coucous, €26m (€6m above its estimate) for Constantin BRANCUSI’s sculpture Madame L.R., €7.9m (pulverising its “under-estimate” of €1.5m) for Marcel DUCHAMP’s historic ready-made Belle haleine-Eau de voilette, €19.2m for Piet MONDRIAAN’s Composition avec bleu, rouge, jaune et noir and €4.4m for James ENSOR’s Le Désespoir de Pierrot.

However, the overall prestige of the sale and the ownership history of the works did not trigger a “buy at any price” mood and collectors remained highly selective. Pablo PICASSO’s cubist painting, over-estimated at €25m, and four paintings by Théodore GÉRICAULT with high reservation prices remained unsold. Another Géricault masterpiece, Portrait d’Alfred et d’Elisabeth Dedreux, set a new record for the artist at €8m, refreshing a previous record dating back to 1989 when Portrait de Laure Bro, née de Comères fetched the equivalent of €4.9m at Sotheby’s in Monaco.

The exceptional quality of the collection attracted the attention of the French State which exercised its pre-emption rights three times on the first day, acquiring Giorgio CHIRICO de’s Ritornante for the Centre Pompidou, Édouard VUILLARD’s Les Lilas and James ENSOR’s Au conservatoire for the Musée d’Orsay. Total bill: €10.6m, excluding fees. Over the following two days, it intervened twice acquiring a miniature portrait of Louis XIV by Petitot and some XVI century wall plates in Limoges enamel for the Louvre.

This sale suggests that the art market is showing remarkable resistance to the financial crisis and the global economic recession… as long as the works offered are of exceptional quality.


**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.

Artprice Launches My Art Collection – artmarketblog.com

Artprice Launches My Art Collection – artmarketblog.com

Artprice has just announced the launch My Art Collection, the first free and confidential art portfolio management service. This service, now available to Artprice’s 1,300,000 subscribers is available as of today for professional or amateur art collectors anywhere in the world. http://web.artprice.com/portfolio/login.aspx

However much you spend on art, the value of your collection is evolving at an ever-faster pace as the art market becomes increasingly sensitive to economic and geopolitical events. With Artprice’s unique and free service My Art Collection, you can follow the value evolution of your collection as a whole with regular revaluations for each of the works in the portfolio.

Using a simple tool that takes full advantage of Artprice’ knowledge in the sector as world leader in art market information, collectors can follow the financial value of their works and their portfolios at just a glance.

This exclusive service enables Artprice subscribers to take full advantage of their immediate access to Artprice’s leading standardised marketplace and to buy or sell elements in their collections in reaction to market fluctuations.

Moreover, in just a couple of clicks, Artprice subscribers can access the pay-service Artpricing: within 48 hours, our analysts (art historians, professionals and econometricians) can provide updated valuation of works. Artprice subscribers can also access the Artprice databases which contain more than 25 million auction results, indices and price statistics for over 405,000 artists.

In addition, this portfolio valuation service will give our subscribers access to online insurance services with quotes calculated in real time by Artprice and its art insurance partners, thereby accelerating the notion of an immediate financial guarantee of their works.

The art market is increasingly reactive. Its principal players are seeking fast and reliable information. My Art Collection by Artprice(R) is today the perfect tool to provide art collectors with the kind of economic information they need. Accessible to all Artprice subscribers, My Art Collection by Artprice is a service that scrupulously respects the confidentiality of its users and protects all personal and private information.

Since 1987, Artprice’s econometrics department has been developing index calculation algorithms based on Artprice’s unique skills and databases. These indices and indicators are today the reference on the art market and have made Artprice the global leader in art market information.

The econometrics department uses its skills to create innovative tools that greatly enhance the transparency of the art market. The Art Market Confidence Index (the reference indicator measuring the confidence of art market professionals) and the Art Price Global Indices (price indices calculated on the basis of 25 million auction results worldwide) are just two such products that are today absolutely indispensable for those wishing to gauge the health of the market.

In 2009, despite a financial and economic crisis that all major institutions agree is of historic proportions, the Art Market Confidence Index – which reflects the views and expectations of its 1,300,000 subscribers in real-time – shows a substantial correction of art market prices; but the instrument itself has contributed to greater overall confidence in the market, particularly with respect to liquidity and acquisition timing. So far, the data from Artprice’s standardised marketplace has indeed been entirely coherent with the AMCI. http://web.artprice.com/amci/

Source: http://www.artprice.com (c)1987-2009 thierry Ehrmann

**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.

Single-Owner Art Sale Success Part 2 – artmarketblog.com

Single-Owner Art Sale Success Part 2 – artmarketblog.com

artcollection3Following on from my last post on the recent success of auctions of single-owner art collections , I think that it is important to look at a few examples of such sales to see exactly how successful these sales have been and to put these sales in context. The first auction that I would like to look at is the sale of “A GREAT BRITISH COLLECTION: The pictures collected by Sir David and Lady Scott, sold to benefit the Finnis Scott Foundation” which was conducted by Sotheby’s on the the 19th of November 08. According to a Sotheby’s pre-sale press release:
“This extraordinary collection is a great testament to Sir David and Lady Scott as collectors and offers an opportunity to acquire works that exemplify two centuries of British art. Sir David was born and brought up in the reign of Queen Victoria and, together with Lady Scott, was a passionate enthusiast of the art of the Victorian age.”
The results of the auction were:
– 87.6 sold by lot and 77.6% sold by value
– 56.6% of the works sold achieved prices above their high estimate
– At least 14 new artist records established
– More than 280 registered bidders in the sale
In the current climate art auctions are routinely achieving only around 60% sold by lot and around the same for value so 87% and 77% represents a very successful sale. In the post-sale press release Grant Ford, Senior Director and Head of Victorian Art at Sotheby’s, commented that “As many of the paintings had not been seen in public
for several decades and were in a wonderfully fresh condition, a great deal of excitement was generated”. He also said “Today’s results are a testament to the discerning eye of two individuals who were collectors in the very truest sense.” These comments are important because they highlight two characteristics that make many of the works sold from single-owner collections so desirable. As explained in my previous post, these two characteristics are a long period since the work was previously offered for sale and the fact that works in such collections are usually chosen for their exceptional quality and rarity.

Another successful single-owner sale was held by Christies on the 13th of October 2008 which was an auction of “Photographs by William Eggleston from the Collection of Bruce and Nancy Berman”. The results of the sale were:
Lots Sold: 54
Lots Offered: 60
Sold by Lot: 90%
Sold by $: 99%
These results would have be exceptional even during the height of the art market boom so to achieve such success during a market downturn is testament to the power of the single-owner sale. In the post-sale press release the Head of Sale, Joshua Holdeman, said that “Head of Sale Joshua Holdeman, comments: “After the 100% sold sale “Photographs by Diane Arbus from the Bruce and Nancy Berman Collection,”we could not be more thrilled by the results from the second sale from the same collection, “Photographs by William Eggleston.” At 99% sold by value and totaling $2,998,250 from a pre-sale estimate of $1.5-2.1 million, bidding was international, and fiercely competitive. Our own world record for William Eggleston’s work was eclipsed this evening with the sale of the Los Alamos portfolio, which realized $ 1,022,500 from a pre-sale estimate of $350,000-550,000.”
It appears from my research that a single-owner collection of works by a single artist attracts even more interest than general single-owner sales. The reason for this is most likely that sales of works by a single artists tend to attract extremely passionate and motivated collectors of that artist’s work which creates a fierce rivalry.

There is definitely a trend associated with auctions of single-owner collections that has emerged since the financial crisis took hold and there are plenty more examples of the success achieved by single-owner sales compared with non single-owner sales. It is important to remember, however, that although the results of single-owner art sales have been very good compared to non single-owner art sales, not all single-owner sales have been as successful as the two highlighted above.   Marc Porter, President of Christie’s Americas sums the trend up nicely when he said “Private collectors continue to be the primary force on the market,
collecting masterworks against a backdrop of a difficult economic climate”

**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.

Single Owner Art Auctions Defy Downturn – artmarketblog.com

Single Owner Art Auctions Defy Downturn – artmarketblog.com

african-art-collectionOver the last few months I have noticed a particularly interesting trend emerge that says a lot about the way people perceive, and are approaching, the art market. There have been quite a few auctions of single owner collections in recent months most of which have achieved particularly good results. Thee results achieved by these single owner sales have been anomalous when compared to the far less successful auctions that did not consist of works from a single owner collection. Why has this been the case I hear you ask, well, let me tell you.

There are two characteristics that become even more important and desirable during times of financial crisis and those characteristics are provenance and rarity. Because of the financial crisis investors and collectors are having to justify their purchases far more than usual. This means that works which represent a higher level of risk are less likely to find buyers and that buyers are attracted to works that have as many evident and indisputable sources or indications of value as possible. By evident and indisputable sources of value I mean such things as provenance, rarity and quality which are all characteristics that:
-add a certain value to a work of art that cannot be taken away
-are not reliant on people’s opinions
-are based on factual information
Because these characteristics are a particularly reliable and stable source of value they provide the collector or investor with a certain level of reassurance and confidence when faced with a decision of whether or not to make the purchase.

The best way to explain how the characteristics of a work of art have an effect on a buyers perception of a work of art is using a horse racing analogy. If your were a horse racing fanatic and were faced with a financial crisis that meant your financial security was under threat you would be more likely to bet on races that offered less risk. Betting on a horse that came from a successful stable, had a high success rate and a was being ridden by a champion jockey would be far easier to justify during a time of financial crisis than a risky bet on an outsider.

Works of art that come from a single owner collection that is being sold as a collection often have excellent provenance and are also often fresh to market which can be translated as rarely put on the market. Because works from single owner collections offer both provenance and rarity they tend to be more desirable and highly valued than if the works had not been part of a sale of a single owner collection. Other reasons that works from single owner collections are so desirable are:
-A certain credibility is afforded to works that have been part of a significant collection
-Collectors who have put together a collection over a long period of time usually focus on a very specific area and will aim to obtain the best examples from the area and to build as complete a story as possible
-Works in a collection represent an approach to art that is fueled by passion and devotion that suggests that the person who put the collection together focused on the art instead of the money and would not compromise their collection with inferior or dubious works.
-The purchase of the work has already been justified by someone else who has included that work in their collection

I’ll leave you with a quote that I particularly like from the Christie’s Private Collection and County House Sales Department which reads:
“The magic of the objects, the styles of their owners and the romance of times past are
intertwined in the sale of a single-owner collection. Sometimes conducted at the collection’s location, such auctions evoke the ambiance of the property’s original setting and suggest to buyers how pieces can be displayed in their own homes.”

To be continued….

**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.

Invest in Art this Christmas – artmarketblog.com

Invest in Art this Christmas – artmarketblog.com

"Rome Pays Off" by Jean-Michel Basquiat.  Available from heliumfoundation.com

"Rome Pays Off" by Jean-Michel Basquiat. Available from heliumfoundation.com

With Christmas holidays just around the corner for most and a buyer market waiting to be taken advantage of, why not take the opportunity to either add some awesome works of art to your existing collection of start an art collection. To give you a bit of a head start I have identified some of the best opportunities to  invest in some awesome works of art so there are no excuses for not buying at least one work of art this Christmas.  Go on, you know you want to!!!

New Blood Art (http://www.newbloodart.com) are offering a 10% discount on all works for this weekend only. This offer lasts from until midnight on Monday 15th December. Simply enter voucher code XMAS08 at the checkout to redeem the discount. New Blood Art are one of my favourite sources of works by emerging contemporary artists so if you can’t find something great to buy here you are not looking hard enough.

WFMU is a freeform radio station that broadcasts out to the greater NYC area at 91.1 FM and online at wfmu.org. The station is a registered 501©3 non-profit organization, runs no commercials or underwriting announcements and is almost entirely funded by listener donations. In order to raise funds for their new antenna and to celebrate WFMU’s longstanding relationship with the arts community both in the New York area and beyond, the station will be holding an art benefit show at Printed Matter from December 6th to December 13th. Works can be viewed here: http://tinyurl.com/5adare

Pictures on Walls is an awesome independent, artist-run facility dedicated to supporting fresh talent and making art you can actually afford. Most of the artists the POW sells work by could be classified as urban or street artists such as Bansky, Faile, Blu, Xenz etc. A whole stack of new prints have just become available but are selling out fast so check out http://www.picturesonwalls.com/ for more info.

For those interested in photography, Aperture Foundation are currently offering 15% off all their prints and 30% off books. Check out the Aperture Foundation Holiday Sale here: http://www.aperture.org/giftguide

The Helium Foundation are high end art dealers who happen to have a fantastic range of works by some of the world’s best modern and contemporary artists for the more serious collector or investor.  If you are looking to spend some real money on art why not indulge in an awesome limited edition screenprint by Jean-Michel Basquiat such as this one:

**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.