The Financial Times‘s Susan Moore tells us that the 94 Old Master lots on offer in London next week are of superb quality going against the rest of the art market where we’re told there is strong demand but weak supply. Moore tries to explain why:
It is tempting to argue that the unusual consistency and solid strength of the Old Master market has encouraged owners to consign their masterpieces. Even as the chill fog of economic gloom began to shroud the art market last autumn, the December sales not only saw record prices paid for the outstanding, but surprisingly high sums for the less remarkable. Were buyers inclining to more traditional tastes and values, or seeing Old Masters as a safe haven for their money? The subsequent round of sales in July again saw estimates and prices no lower than they might have been a few years before, more auction records and sales rates of over 90 per cent in value. Perhaps only sales of jewellery have fared better.
“This is a good moment to sell,” agrees Richard Knight, joint international director of Old Masters and 19th-century art at Christie’s. “Over the past two to three years, despite the events of the autumn of 2008, the very best that has come to the market has done wonderfully well.”
Masters of the Universe (Financial Times)