24% goes unsold at Christies Impressionist & Modern Sale in London
This Blog is starting to sound like a
bad country western song... If it weren't for bad news there would be no news at all.
So it sounds like even with the strong British Pound and the even stronger Euro.. people still didn't buy at this weeks Christies big Impressionist and modern Art sale. 24% went unsold, and many lots selling at the low end or even below the pre-sale estimates. Yikes!
Which doesn't bode well for tonight's Contemporary sale.
aka..the big art crash of 2008. (photo Sale 7565, Lot 9, Jean-Michel Basquiat (1960-1988) Palm Springs Jump, signed, titled and dated ‘“PALM SPRINGS JUMP” JeanMichelB 1982’ acrylic, oilstick and gold paint on canvas, 72 x 84 in.Executed in 1982, Estimate on request)
Here's some more details of the bad news by Linda Sandler and Lindsay Pollock of Bloomberg news..
Christie's Fails to Sell 24% of Art as Many U.S. Buyers Retreat, 2008-02-05 11:47 (New York)
Feb. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Christie's International failed to
sell 24 percent of the art at a London auction last night as U.S.
buyers retreated in the wake of losses in the credit and equity
Christie's, which vies with Sotheby's to be the largest
auction house, sold 76 percent of the impressionist and modern
art lots, down from 81 percent at its November sale. Collectors
in the Americas took 15 percent of the items; they took home
about half of the sale at Christie's in November.
The supply of U.S. buyers appears to be shrinking amid the
worst housing slump in a quarter-century, with fallout spreading
through the economy, hurting builders, retailers, wholesalers,
buyout funds and mortgage lenders.
``The average rich aren't rich anymore,'' said Asher
Edelman, a former Wall Street raider who is a private art dealer.
``The average rich are probably the guys who buy everything
except the top-priced lots.''
Writedowns at banks and declines in real-estate values have
knocked out many buyers for less expensive works. Bankers and
brokers aren't getting bonuses, and the value of developers'
properties is declining, Edelman said. Delinquencies on home
loans have surged to record rates, leading to $133 billion in
writedowns and credit losses at the world's biggest banks and
securities firms in the past year.
Prices for modern artworks including Pablo Picasso have
risen 2.5 times since 2002, according to Art Market Research's
index of the central 50 percent of works. The same index more
than halved after the 1990 art-market crash and stayed down
through 2002 before starting to climb again.
The most desired works continue to appreciate. A Picasso
painting of his mistress Dora Maar took 5.7 million pounds ($11.2
million) with commission last night, after failing to sell in
2002 at a low estimate of $4 million.
Still, a five-foot-high Picasso canvas of a man with a rifle
sold near its low estimate before commission, taking 5.6 million
pounds. Among the top 10 most expensive lots, works by Juan Gris,
Henri Matisse and Paul Signac sold near their low estimates.
The auction results indicate that sellers are having a
harder time monetizing their collections. Three out of nine works
from the collection of Maurice Wohl, a U.K. office developer and
Israel backer, didn't sell. One of his paintings, a 1910 Kees van
Dongen oil of an exotic dancer, took a record 5.6 million pounds.