This commentary on the collectible market is available to AMMpro subscribers. Monthly subscriptions come with a free first month grace period. Subscribers are welcome to sign up for the service and cancel at any time before they are billed.
Scott Reyburn's report last week included these numbers on the luxury collectible market at Christie's. Reyburn seems to think he's denigrating the performance of Old Master, 19th Century and Russian pictures market. We'd propose viewing this somewhat differently.
Christie’s auction sales of items such as handbags, wine, watches and jewels were actually down 13 percent in the first half of 2017, compared with the period a year earlier. But it is a measure of the “luxurification” of the 21st-century market that the £253.6 million total was still four times the combined total of £63.8 million achieved for old masters, 19th-century pictures and Russian art during the same period.
Gems and Jewelry don't really belong in the collectible market. Instead, we should use classic cars which are yet another class of tangible asset that has gained value in recent years to become a substantial asset class in its own right.
Watches have long thrived within the auction houses. The closing of Christie's South Kensington sales rooms is more of a commentary on the brown furniture market which has been limited by changing decorative tastes. Many in the field don't believe values will ever recover but market bottoms (and potential recoveries) are always marked by capitulation, the near universal feeling of despair about a market's future.
Sign up to Art Market Monitor Premium today
You need a membership to AMMpro to view this article and other exclusive content daily.
You can register today for $90 per month—with your first month free!—or for $756 per year (no free trial period.)
If you already have an account, sign in here: