Todd Levin points out on his Facebook page tonight that Steve Wynn’s “NATURE MORTE AUX TULIPES” just sold all in for about $41,5m. Sotheby’s sold it in 2000 for $28.6m. The work appreciated at a compound rate of only 3.2% over the 12-year holding period. A different set of numbers from what we’re used hearing about Modern works and art as an asset.
Update: It’s worth pointing out that the seller did not even get a 3.2% return because Levin is comparing selling price to selling price (because that’s the information available.) The real return to the seller is going to be lower. Add to that the fact that there was a private sale between the 2000 auction price and this week’s sale which, presumably, lowers the return further.