Exceptions and the Market

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 8, 2014

It’s a point I try to make with my students: art historical narratives at the introductory level (perhaps within the field generally) are built around exceptional works—pieces, for instance, that are especially well executed, can boast a remarkable provenance, or mark a shift in style (if all three, then so much the better). Quality distinctions carry important market implications, too; and as Scott Reyburn reports for The New York Times, demand for lower- and mid-level priced antiques remains low, in contrast to the market for rare items—exemplified by the September sale of a ca. 1720 writing table by André-Charles Boulle, which sold for 3.15million USD, well beyond its estimate. CH

From the article:

Scott Reyburn, “A Shift in the Antiques Market,” The New York Times (3 October 2014).

So the question on many collectors’ minds now is just how low can the price of period English furniture go? The British-based Antique Collectors’ Club’s Annual Furniture Index (AFI), based on a mix of auction and retail prices of 1,400 typical items, fell by 6 percent to 2,238 in 2013. The index has been on a slide for more than a decade after reaching a peak of 3,575 in 2002.

“For nice furnishing things, prices are as low as I can remember,” said Paul Beedham, an early oak specialist dealer in Derbyshire. “The professional classes who used to buy just don’t have the money any more. They’re struggling to pay their mortgages and car loans.”

The full article is available here»

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