If an artist’s work frequently sells above its estimate, then his or her market may be undervalued. [private_subscriber][private_bundle]
In Fig. 9, we ranked artists whose work had a tendency to exceed their estimates by at least 50% in the 2005 to 2009 American sales. Ludwig Bemelmans tops the list—almost half of his works have sold for at least 50% more than their high estimates in the past five years.
Of the 16 artists whose works have recently shown a tendency to outdo their estimates in such a fashion, four will have work included in this week’s sales: Bemelmans, David Davidovich Burliuk, Theodore Earl Butler and Sanford Robinson Gifford.
Figs. 10–13 compare those artists’ average estimates (dotted lines) with their average prices (solid lines) over the past 4–5 years (Burliuk was not offered in the 2005 American sales; likewise for Butler last year). Bemelmans’s and Burliuk’s average prices exceeded their average estimates with the most frequency, while estimates on Butler’s work have become more accurate in the past two years and Gifford’s have demonstrated the most inconsistency overall. In 2009, Bemelmans and Gifford deviated from the poor performance of American art in general, maintaining average prices above their average estimates. Butler and Burliuk were not as resilient