Carol Vogel‘s report from TEFAF asks and answers an interesting question about the art trade. Even though Dickinson has a Gauguin, Boticelli and a van Gogh on the stand, there’s lots of talk about the dearth of big ticket items:
“There are no blockbusters, no $30 million Rembrandts of years past, but is that what these fairs are all about?” Mr. Fisch asked. “Is it really relevant to anyone’s collecting experience? There are so many wonderful things to see.”
Big-ticket paintings were noticeably absent this year, dealers said, because inventories are low. When the economy took a nose dive two years ago, most galleries suffered and, being cash-strapped, were not able to replenish their stock. As soon as things started to pick up, dealers found that the best works tended to be too expensive to buy for resale.
Maastricht Treasure Hunt Lures Collectors (New York Times)