The Financial Times likes to run this chart of discretionary spending comparing three indices from luxury markets: classic cars, wine and art. As you can see above, the Artprice.com index that they reference has been more volatile and taken longer to recover since the dislocations caused by the financial crisis:
After a dull 2010 for global art sales, the Artprice Global Index bears testament to a rapid improvement in the market this year. The index, which is updated quarterly, shows that sales in the past three months have delivered prices that were last seen before the recession took hold in 2008.
The quarter’s “rather spectacular” sales, in the words of Martin Bremond, an analyst at Artprice, contributed to an increase of 27 per cent in auction turnover compared with the same period a year ago.
FT Wealth Indices: July 2011 (Financial Times)