Will The Real Money Show Up

I’ve been tracking the contemporary art auctions for clues as to the effect, if any, the financial crisis is having on the luxury art market.  The figures from several of the sales this month seem to suggest some slowdown.  However, these sales tend to have just a few stellar items along with many lots of more retail-level art.  And one’s view of the market can easily become skewed by too little data.

On 3rd November, Sothebys in New York is holding an “Impressionist and Modern Art” sale.   There are 71 lots and 63 of the lots have estimates of $1 million and above.  24 lots are estimated to fetch more than $5 million.  And there is a Modigliani at $25 million (see image) and a Monet at $22m.   In addition, there are four other lots — including a Picasso, a Degas and a Munch — that have unpublished estimates.

This is an auction for serious collectors and high rollers only.   This could be a real test.

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