Far from doom and gloom in the secondary art market

Just a quick few lines after the latest round of fine art auctions: it’s far from doom and gloom, and we still think the art market is doing rather well.

The auctions held in Melbourne this week – Sothebys, Bonhams & Goodman as well as Deutscher + Hackett – although perhaps a little shaky, managed to shift over 17 million dollars worth of art in less than one week.

And this hot on the heels of a Melbourne Art Fair reporting $ 12.1 million worth of art sales, which represents a growth of 16 % on the previous event in 2006.

Sotheby’s results alone, although disappointing, do not an art market recession make. In fact, the sale of two paintings – the John Glover and the John Brack – would have made everything very rosy, adding up to 3 million dollars to their $ 6.7 million total. Let’s not forget, Sothebys also broke a new record with Russell Drysdale at $ 1.89 million.

Bonhams & Goodman, for their part, would surely be far from disappointed with a result of just under 5 million dollars. You don’t break 5 artists’ auction records in difficult times. Bonhams & Goodman have created new highs for artists Penleigh Boyd with $266,400; Robert Dickerson $ 112,800; Fred Cress $ 66,000; Ida Rentoul Outhwaite $ 50,400 and sculptor Inge King $ 180,000.

Deutscher + Hackett was the third cab off the rank in the sales this week and sold a most satisfactory 72% of the works offered – generally anything over 60% is regarded as good. Admittedly, their much lauded John Brack Nude was not sold on the night, but it was purchased the next day; a sale is a sale. They will be very happy with this result.

We can pick at numerous statistics to make a good or a bad story. However you like to view it: almost $ 30 million worth of known art sales in just one month is a pretty good story and statistic, indicating strength in both primary and secondary art markets.

Written by

Hi, my name is Brigitte Banziger and I am an art consultant and manager at Banziger Hulme Fine Art Consultants, Australia's art valuation and art advice experts. We specialise in art valuations for insurance purposes, for family division, deceased estates, superannuation funds and market values, and advise clients regarding purchase and sales of art (art brokerage). Our services are sought by private clients, companies, public galleries and councils alike. Our aim is to provide professional service with friendly, approachable manner.

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