It’s the poor that give
to the poor.
Those who can actually afford it walk by
the outstretched hand and box
with sneering dismissal.
“Get a job”, they whisper under their peppermint breath,
knowing, as bosses,
they would never hire some bum
begging on a street corner.
“Have a nice day, anyway”
Spitting on a well-polished shoe
gets you six months’ jail time;
letting the poor starve
gets your picture in “Newsweek”.
[I wrote this in 1998. It is still true today as I witnessed just this morning]
The Dow fell 7% today. Perhaps this was the hangover from the terrible results of the Jeanne Lanvin auction at Christies in Paris this morning. Pre-sale estimates were for a total sale of between Euros 13 million and 19.7 million. Total sales actually realised: just Euros 7.7 million. One has to wonder how many guaranteed prices Christies are eating tonight.
The big picture — Renoir’s Tapisseries dans le parc — failed to sell. Of the other high-priced pre-sale estimates, another Renoir barely cleared its 800,000 minimum, as did the delightful L’embarcadère à Trouville by Eugene Boudin. A third Renoir found 1.15 million against the anticipated minimum of 1.2 million, and Picasso’s La Coiffure fetched Euros 840,000 against an expected low of 1 million. Both Degas’ Femme au chapeau bleu and Mademoiselle Salle, each estimated at around Euros 1 million, failed to find buyers.
There were some successes, however. Pieces by Pierre Bonnard, Jean-Louis Forain, Eduard Vuillard, Roger de la Fresnaye — along with Renoir’s jeune fille — all sold well over their pre-sale highs.