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March 09, 2007

So Much For the American Art Expert Estimates ?

Well...my little MAOettes... it would seem several, would be American Art Collectors read MAO's wise advise yesterday.. and were waving their little opportunistic paddles in the air at the Sotheby's American Art Auction.

Sanford_gifford_san_giorgio_venice (Photo #1 Lot 61, Sanford Gifford, San Giorgio, Venice 1870, 26 3/8 by 52 3/8 in, oil on canvas)

Every item we highlighted as looking like good relative value vs. the insane prices of Contemporary Art today, sold for a shitload "just a bit" more than the Sotheby's "Experts" had initially suggested. 

Actually, their pre-sale estimates were so far off.. It just make us think..... were these "Experts" just completely clueless uninformed about the huge demand for these American Painters work, or were they intentionally putting out very low pre-sale estimates in order to attract the attention of many opportunistic non-American Art Specific collectors... it's not clear.

Ludwig_bemelmans_little_madeline_in_bed What do you think..Are these "Experts" Clueless... or Very Art Marketing Savvy?

(Photo #2, Lot 176, Ludwig Bemelmans, Little Madilne Sat in Bed, Cried and Cried, Her Eyes Were Red, 17.75 by 14.25 in, watercolor and ink on paper)

Anyway..here are the results of a few of the MAO favorites...Americanart_auction_results_march07

Sadly, we at MAO didn't buy anything..Grrrr!! There were just throngs of people bidding on everything in sight.

The $192,000 dollars paid for that tiny, 8 x 10 inch, Thomas Hart Benton painting was a real shock!

So actually some of these prices look pretty high..  Hmm... Maybe that huge, edition of 6, Candida Hofer photograph wasn't such a bad buy after all !!

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So when is this crash coming?? I've heard about the impending art world crash for a few years now. Still waiting.

I'm very disappointed the Avery painting will not be in the MAO collection... it was definitely a favorite

This is insane.. why does anyone put any faith in these auction house idiots?
To be off on almost every item by several hundred percent is just not responsible.. and also very dangerous for the buyer and the sellers. It's just shamefull.

Rich said: "This is insane.. why does anyone put any faith in these auction house idiots? To be off on almost every item by several hundred percent is just not responsible.. and also very dangerous for the buyer and the sellers. It's just shamefull."

It's smart from the perspective of the auction house. Low ball the price and you are safe: If the price is low, you predicted it. If the price is high, it helps you hype the market and bring in the customer. Predictability is very bad for hype driven areas like art auctions.

I vote for Very Savvy Art Marketing.

Auction house experts intentionally low-ball estimates to build interest in the sale, because the promise of "bargains" increases the number of bidders. It also helps lure future customers who see the bidding frenzy and assume that's THE place to consign their own treasures.

Low estimates are just part of the game -- kinda like red-shirting in sports. (By the way, who can think of art right now, when the March Madness brackets have been published?)

did you see that sanford gifford show at the met a few years ago... it was so good.

i'm glad to see the madeline illustrations up there.. if i had any money i would be buying jack kirby and ezra jack keats... among others.

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