◊  Sotheby's evening auctions: well-managed sales with muted results

This week, the auction spotlight was on Sotheby's two evening sales: the post-war and contemporary sale and the impressionist and modern sale.
The post-war and contemporary art sale started with a shock: Just before the auction debut, the Baltimore Museum of Art announced that it was withdrawing its three high-profile works (including Jackson Pollock and Brice Marden), due to a severe controversy that these consignments had sparked with donors of the museum and institutional heavy-weights. Even though museum restrictions for deaccessions have been softened this year, decisions to sell prestigious works remain highly politicised and difficult to implement. 

Overall, works offered at the auctions were conservatively priced and most hammered around their low estimates. For the impressionist and modern sale, artworks sold on average at a 10% premium to their low estimate (hammer price) and on average at a 25% discount to their high estimate.
The bought-in rate was very low, all lots were sold at the impressionist and modern sale, as there was a high level of guarantees set up, and auction houses managed to withdraw lots quite efficiently just before the auction, when there was too thin a demand spotted beforehand.


◊  Collectibles: an integral part of Wealth - a Credit Suisse research report

Credit Suisse has issued a report from their Research Institute focused on collectibles as an integral part of wealth in October 2020 by conducting a survey of their representative ultra high net worth clients. Their findings are the following, pretty much inline with Deloitte's previous Art & Finance report:
  • 70% of Credit Suisse's clients are collectors
  • A third of those are new collectors
  • 80% indicated that they will collect the same or more in the future
                                                                                 Source: Credit Suisse

While collectors acknowledge that sentiment in the art market tends to fluctuate in line with global economic activity (Credit Suisse noted the correlation between the art market index and the Purchasing Managers Index PMI, a leading business cycle indicator), most collectors still perceive art as a diversification and a store of value for future generations.

                                                                   Source: Arttactics, Credit Suisse

◊  Giacometti's nine-foot sculpture Grande Femme I sold for over USD 90 million

Sotheby's announced that Alberto Giacometti's sculpture offered by Ron Perelman in a sealed bid auction sold for an undisclosed amount. The minimum bid was USD 90 million.
This hybrid sale approach, mixing public auction and private sale, is a new initiative, that tries to optimise the challenging current circumstances in the 'ultra-blue-chips' segment (beyond 20 million USD), where buyers seem to be more cautious and less prone to exuberant bidding than before the covid.


More to follow next Sunday!

The LINK Management team 



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