There’s a lot of heavy breathing in the Wall Street Journal today concerning Art Basel Miami. Some of the worst fears are focused on Design Miami:
This year, the glow has faded from the fair, which opened Tuesday and runs through Saturday. The number of participating galleries has shrunk by half a dozen to 23, leading organizers to consider adding dealers of antique furniture next year. [ . . . ] Some dealers say that the go-go price inflation of the past few years hurt the category because it attracted speculators who snapped up a piece only to resell at a profit. The frequent trading dumped too much work on the auction block, says Mr. Schachter, the London dealer. By last summer, sales were falling flat. Sotheby’s failed to sell 40% of its lots at its summer design auction.
Now this once hot category is suddenly facing a less certain future. Dealers are cutting back on fairs, laying off workers, shopping for smaller warehouse spaces, and of course, offering discounts.
The Master, Judd Tully, tells a different story. Business is slow but sales are taking place:
“Everything we’ve sold so far is under $100,000,” said partner Suzanne Demishch. “But I think the overall mood is positive.”
That assessment was echoed by Franklin Getchell, co-owner of Moss gallery, which has branches in New York and Los Angeles. “It’s been slow but not as slow as we thought it could be,” he said.
$1 Million Chaise? Not This Year (Wall Street Journal)