Fewer Top 5000 Additions from Last Week’s Contemporary Auctions; Stronger Repeat Sales Results

February 25, 2011

Not surprisingly, the sales of Contemporary art last week in London at Christie’s and Sotheby’s brought fewer big-ticket prices than the previous week’s sales of Impressionist & Modern works, which is where the market’s premium segment seems to be focused for the time being.

Last week, 21 works entered Skate’s Top 5000. The top selling work was Andy Warhol’s Self-portrait (1967), which sold at Christie’s for $17,387,926, including buyer’s premium and against a pre-auction estimate of $4,833,000 to $8,055,000. Self-portrait stands at #219 in Skate’s ranking.

The works that did find buyers generally saw healthy prices; 15 of the 21 Top 5000 entrants exceeded their pre-auction high estimates, and the remaining 6 works fell comfortably within their estimate ranges.

The six repeat sales that took place all saw positive returns, with the most impressive effective rate of return (ERR) going to Gerhard Richter’s Abstraktes Bild (1990), which sold for $5,118,550 against a pre-auction estimate of $1,611,000 to $2,416,500. Abstraktes Bild achieved a 26.01% ERR on an annualized basis after a holding period just under 6 years. The average ERR for the 6 repeat sales last week was 14.66% on an annualized basis; the average holding period for these works was just over 8 years.


Impressionist & Modern Sales: Many New Additions to Skate’s Top 5000, Strong Repeat Sales

February 12, 2011

The sales of Impressionist & Modern art that took place at Christie’s and Sotheby’s in London this past week brought 50 new entrants to Skate’s Top 5000.

The top selling work, as predicted by many auction watchers, was Pablo Picasso’s La lecture (1932), which was sold at Sotheby’s on February 8 for $40,663,653, including buyer’s premium and against a pre-auction estimate of $19,332,000 to $28,998,000. La lecture stands at #42 in Skate’s ranking.

More interesting than the phenomenal purchase price – a full 40% above Sotheby’s high estimate – is the fact that La lecture was a repeat sale. After a long holding period of 22 years, the painting achieved an annualized effective rate of return (ERR) of 8.32%, which is considerably higher than the average of 4.33% for Picasso’s repeat sales that are included in Skate’s Top 5000.

In total, there were 15 repeat sales at Top 5000 prices this past week. Returns on these repeat sales were positive across the board, ranging from a negligible 0.22% for Claude Monet’s La berge du Petit-Gennevilliers (1875) to a stellar 20.96% for Joan Miró’s Tête bleue et oiseau flèche (1965). The average ERR for this group of repeat sales was 9.09% with an average holding period of just under 19 years, which is a significantly long period for the works tracked by Skate’s.

Of the Top 5 Art Investment Ideas that were featured in our February 2011 newsletter, only one work – Marc Chagall’s Les Maries et le Bouquet de Fleurs Rouges (1964) – did not find a buyer. We will present a full analysis of February sales in the next issue of our newsletter.


Monthly Art Investment Ideas from Skate’s Art Market Research: February 2011

February 2, 2011

Welcome to the February 2011 issue of Skate’s Art Investment Review. Published by Skate’s Art Market Research since 2006, this report covers global art market trends and is focused on the universe of global artists (654 names as of January 31, 2011) whose works are represented in Skate’s Top 5000, our database of the world’s most valuable art based on auction prices. We also follow all publicly traded companies operating in the art industry around the world, tracking their performance with Skate’s Art Stocks Index.

In this issue:

  1. January Sales Review
  2. February Repeat Sales Review
  3. Top 5 Art Investment Ideas for February 2011
  4. Claude Monet: Argenteuil, Fin D’apres-Midi and La berge du Petit-Gennevilliers
  5. Fernand Léger: Une femme devant le paysage
  6. Marc Chagall: Les Maries et le bouquet de fleurs rouges
  7. Top Still Life Artworks to Watch in February
  8. Skate’s Art Stocks Index: Underperforming S&P 500

Click here to view the full newsletter.


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