Lindsay Pollock has some fun at John Thain’s expense on Bloomberg with a tour of the Winter Antiques Fair now taking place at the Park Ave. Armory. $1.2 million for the antiques in Thain’s office were hardly extravagant to this crowd:
“He could have spent considerably more,” said Gaylord Dillingham. Based on Thain’s prices, Dillingham pegged the decor as “nice middle-of-the road things. [T]here would be nothing crazy about this if he were making $15 billion for the company,” said Dillingham.
Be that as it may, Pollock’s tour of the dealers and their reports of some life in the market is a good sign considering the damage Thain’s firm, Merrill Lynch has done to the world economy.
Around 75 dealers from London to San Francisco have set up their stalls at the Park Avenue Armory, where the annual display of furnishings, decorations and pictures continues through this Sunday.
“We expected zero business, and there is not zero business, but it is slow,” said Peter Schaffer of A La Vieille Russie, which specializes in antiques and jewelry. He sold a bracelet and a ring, each in the $10,000 price range.
Thomas Colville said he usually sells seven paintings from his booth midway through the fair but so far only three have been purchased, with prices ranging from $3,500 to over $100,000.
“People are not doing impulse buying,” Colville said.