Thoughts on the May 23, 2010 Auction

It’s finally March and soon we are getting ready to close out the sale in preparation for photography in two weeks. Amidst the chaos at the warehouse with all the furniture and art flying in, I got a chance to take a moment to reflect on how the auction is shaping up and ask Peter a couple of questions.

What is the proportion of fine art to furniture?

Peter: For the first time the majority of the consignments is fine art.

What is an investment piece for a beginning collector to look out for?

Peter: We have a lot of small works on paper and prints in the sale under $5,000. One of my favorite areas in this auction would be the photographs. The Richard Avedon, 1971, Image of Warhol, estimate $3,000 – 5,000 will probably be a great long-term investment for a not a lot of money now.

Richard Avedon, 1971, Image of Warhol, estimate $3,000 – 5,000

Is there anything you are anticipating to go up on the auction block?

Peter: We have several works by artists we have never sold before- Thomas Hart Benton and Paul Cadmus. It will be interesting to see what the reaction to this material is with our regular buyers.

In terms of the market have you seen a shift in what people want to sell?

Peter: I am starting to get offered a lot more works from the 70s and 80s in both furniture and fine art. Also, in this auction we have the largest selection of recent contemporary art, so it seems more people are starting to sell recent works. In the past the average age of modern and contemporary artwork that was offered to us was about 25 years old. This time we have a lot of works that are less than five years old.

What is your favorite piece you have gotten in so far?

Peter: John McLaughlin, “Untitled (#33)”, 1958. Even though it’s a small work, it has the most beautiful proportions of any paintings by this artist that I have seen in the market in some time. In addition, the condition of the work is pristine, which is very rare for McLaughlin’s work.

John McLaughlin, “Untitled (#33)”, 1958, estimate $20,000 - 30,000

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