Don't Worry About Phillips Sale

Bloomberg‘s Scott Reyburn gets some interesting responses to the stunted Phillips de Pury auction in London yesterday. Of course, Simon de Pury blames the performance on weak Imp/Mod sales the week before. But here’s a more creative explanation:

“This wasn’t a barometer of the market,” said London- based collector Amir Shariat, who bought the 1971 Gerhard Richter gray abstract “Graues Bild I” for a within-estimate 91,250 pounds. “The estimates were too high, the financial markets were down today and Spain playing Portugal in the World Cup,” reducing attendance at the sale, Shariat said. Only one lot sold for a hammer price of more than the estimate.

Most of the lots included in the auction were middling- quality pieces in the 50,000-pound to 200,000-pound range that were vulnerable to selective bidding, said dealers.

`Buyer Fatigue’ Blights Auction as Lots Fail, Art Market’s Recovery Stalls (Bloomberg)