Great Depression of the 21st century looms over the art market
April 28, 2020 / The Art Newspaper / by Anny Shaw
WORSE THAN 2008 CRASH? As the IMF warns we are heading towards the worst economic slump in living memory, the art industry starts to fear a double dip recession.
Early figures suggest the art market could be on course for a similar crash to 2008/09, if not worse. According to data compiled by Art Market Research (AMR), in March 2020 (see graph below) there was a 45% drop in the number of fine art lots sold at auction compared with the same month in 2019—not altogether unsurprising given the unprecedented closure of auction houses. More than half of March’s 80 fine art sales have been postponed.
That drop almost exactly mirrors the 43% dive in sales recorded in November 2008, the first real public test of the market after Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy two months earlier. The biggest plunge—59%—came in July 2009.
Supply may be down but (some) demand is still there. “Collectors haven’t deserted the market in huge numbers yet,” says AMR’s managing director Sebastian Duthy. “Of course, it took several months before the impact of the 2008 crisis was fully realised in terms of drop in sales, so we shall have to wait and see how consigners respond to this crisis.” He notes that some smaller auctions have done well online, including Sotheby’s 20th-century design sale in March, which brought in $4m—more than 25% above its high estimate. Now that we are cooped up at home, interior decoration has perhaps never felt so vital.
Forget wine, watches and whisky: this is the new safe haven of millionaires
March 5, 2020 / The Telegraph / by Marianna Hunt
The value of handbags has risen more than whisky and art combined over the past year
While price increases have slowed in the worlds of luxury watches, wines and whiskies, another asset class has been motoring ahead.
Every year estate agency Knight Frank compiles an index comparing the performance of different luxury investments. This year a newcomer entered the top spot, with a price increase of 13pc over 2019.
Why a Hermès handbag can be a better investment than art
March 5, 2020 / Quartz / by Marc Bain
If you were looking for a nice short-term investment in 2019, you may have been better off putting your money into one of Hermès’s rare handbags than the work of a long-expired painter, according to an analysis by global real-estate consultancy Knight Frank.
The firm found Hermès handbags increased the most in value in its 12-month index of what you might call alternative investment assets, including art, stamps, rare whiskey, watches, coins, cars, and more. (Traditional financials assets such as stocks and bonds weren’t included). Over 12 months, its bag index grew 13%, well above the runners up of stamps (6%) and art (5%). Knight Frank published the numbers in its annual wealth report on investment and luxury, using data provided by Art Market Research, which has an established methodology for analyzing the value of the art, antiques, and collectibles markets.
Designer handbags become the new must-have investment – outperforming whisky, art and classic cars
March 3, 2020 / This is Money/ Daily Mail / by Holly Thomas
Designer handbags are the most profitable luxury investment, according to a new report from Knight Frank.
The Wealth Report today reveals that the collectable accessories have knocked rare whisky off the number one position, looking at one year returns.
The value of designer handbags has risen by 13 per cent over 12 months, it says.
Sebastian Duthy, director of Art Market Research, says: ‘It’s only been possible to create an index on handbags now because of the frequency with which many iconic pieces are coming to auction today.
While bags made by luxury brands such as Chanel and Louis Vuitton are also highly collectable, it is those made by Hermès that attract the highest prices and are considered the most desirable.
The Luxury Investment Index 2020: discover the world’s most-coveted items
March 4, 2020 / Knight Frank / The Wealth Report
Veronika Lukasova-Duthy, Art Market Research
2019 was the fourth consecutive year that overall individual artist records fell, while record sums were paid for works by living artists – such as Jeff Koons’ stainless steel Rabbit, which sold for US$91 million in May. With a rise of around 5% this year, the art market continues to adapt to a slowing supply of works by Impressionists and Modern masters. Other winners in contemporary sales were urban artists Invader, who broke the US$1 million mark at auction for the first time with the tile mosaic TK_119, and Banksy, whose painting Devolved Parliament sold for around five times the artist’s previous record in 2008.
How to buy a… René Magritte
February 3, 2020 / The Art Newspaper / by Anna Brady
The artist’s trademark motifs make his work easily recognisable and desirable—but there is more to this Surrealist than apples and bowler hats
Buyer’s Guide to…Charles White
Charles White chronicled the African American experience when white male abstraction ruled. Now record prices for his work are frequently reset.
The Finer Things in Life Weren’t Good Investments in 2019
The number of blockbuster sales dipped markedly. Out of the 40 most expensive paintings ever bought at auction, 18 were sold in 2018 compared with just three in 2019, Art Market Research estimates.
“There were worries about the trade war with China that certainly looks to be having an impact. And London has been one of the three major centers of the art market, so the continuing Brexit uncertainty continues to drag the market,” Sebastian Duthy, director at Art Market Research.
Among the best-known sales of 2019 was Banksy’s Devolved Parliament, which depicts primates sitting in place of lawmakers in the U.K. legislature and sold for £9.8 million ($12.8 million) at Sotheby’s, a record sum for the artist.
The falling value of wine, art and high-end diamonds in 2019 contrasts with a rally in luxury stocks. Shares in Kering SA, the parent company of Gucci, have gained over 40% this year, while LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton SE, whose brands are considered most resilient in an economic downturn, is up 60%.
Buyer’s Guide to…Les Lalanne
Consumers from China to Japan recognise their own cultures’ influence on this era’s aesthetic. Kate Youde reports on rising popularity of high-quality art deco jewelery pieces in Asia.
In the first quarter of this year, prices for Belle Époque (the 40-year period before the outbreak of first world war) and art deco jewellery grew 9 per cent compared with the same period in 2018, auction sales data from Art Market Research shows, and 104 per cent over the decade.
Buyer’s Guide to…Albert Oehlen
Buyer’s Guide to…Louise Bourgeois
Over the course of her eight-decade career (she was almost 100 when she died in 2010), Bourgeois’s visceral work covered the gamut of human experience—from sexuality to mortality—and engaged with many Modern art movements. From the totemic Personages sculptures of the 1940s and 50s to her fabric creations, cage installations, prints and drawings, and those famous bronze spiders, Bourgeois’s work has global appeal, fostered by institutional shows from her hometown of New York to, more recently, Shanghai and Beijing.
Buyer’s Guide to…Gerhard Richter
Leslie Rankow, an established art consultant, Sebastian Duthy, Director of AMR and Robin Kalota of Plan Art LLC share their views on the issue.
The Clarion List is a leading online resource for art service companies worldwide.
Dellasposa is a fine art gallery and art advisory service based in London.
Buyer’s Guide to…Egon Schiele
Buyer's Guide to....Egon Schiele
‘While well known in the West, the work of this major figure of Austrian Expressionism is less recognised in Asia—until now’.
Georgina Adam analyses Schiele’s auction prices as London dealer Richard Nagy brings 40 artworks by Egon Schiele to this year’s Art Basel Hong Kong.
Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index 2018
Knight Frank Wealth Report has been launched today across the globe. The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index 2019, go-to report for measuring passion investments with several categories underpinned by AMR indices.
The Best Investment of 2018? Art, Wine and Cars
‘Unattributed works that are connected with stellar name artists can regularly achieve higher prices than some firmly attributed works by lesser artists.’ says Veronika Lukasova of Art Market Research.
Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung reports on Knight Frank’s Luxury Investment Index 2018.
‘Prices for works by Impressionists and Post-war artists have dominated auction sales for the last two decades. But this picture has been changing, with works by some contemporary artists appreciating rapidly in the last few years. In March, artist Mark Bradford hit the headlines when his painting ‘Helter Skelter I’ was sold by ex-tennis star John McEnroe for a record $10.4m at Phillips in London. In May, rapper Sean Combs, aka P Diddy, paid $21.1 million at Sotheby’s for a painting by artist Kerry James Marshall. The figure represents an 800-fold increase on the $25,000 paid for the same work in 1997.’ says Sebastian Duthy.
Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index 2017
“As prices for the very best 19th and 20th century art continue to hit the headlines, there is hope within the industry that the sensational Da Vinci sale could attract a wider audience to Old Masters in 2018.” says AMR director, Sebastian Duthy.
“Volatility in the art market has been driven by prices of post-war and contemporary art in the last few years. After a depressed market in 2016 caused widespread concern, consignors were tempted back by auctioneers last year.”
Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index 2017
Pre-sale guarantees set to create new high for Sotheby’s Impressionist and Modern art sales
According to the late Robin Duthy’s Art Market Research Index, now managed by his son, Sebastian, the surrealist market witnessed a boom between 2006 and 2013 when prices were increasing by an average 20 per cent a year. Christie’s annual surrealist sales in that period jumped from £10 million to £37 million, and in 2015 leapt to £66.6 million. At that sale it was noticeable how many Asian bidders were coming into the market.
Art Vs Stock
According to Art Market Research Developments, the underlying value of American pop art has increased nine times faster than the S&P 500 index in the past ten years. Some of the biggest gains have come in niche categories, like 19th-century American photography or 20th-century Belgian painting. The latter group has been dominated by René Magritte: 22 of his paintings have sold for more than $5m over the period. Before borrowing heavily to speculate on a Renaissance masterpiece, you should know that Italian Old Masters have lagged the S&P since 2006. Still, even if they haven’t been a great investment, if you love them, now may be a good time to buy.
“Investments of passion”, such as art, antiques, classic cars, collectable coins or fine wine, do not perhaps receive quite the same level of attention as the buying and selling of buildings or land. Nevertheless, their demand as alternative investments continues to flourish, as demonstrated by the £8bn generated annually in the UK by the arts and antiques market alone.
Sebastian Duthy, a director at Art Market Research, feels there is a cautious optimism in the antique furniture market that the long downward trend in values for brown furniture is starting to change.