Scott Reyburn finds an inventive way to yoke together a few different sales in his weekly International New York Times report on Old Master drawings a variety of decorative art and Antiquities sales held in London recently. Reyburn’s unifying idea is the shift from connoisseurship to taste.
Here he quotes a dealer who is struggling to convince clients of the merits of previously prized antique furniture:
“It’s a tiny pool of buyers,” said Patrick Jefferson, a furniture and art dealer based in London. “And they want their homes to look like Gagosian or Pace gallery. My wealthy clients will buy two or three ‘accent’ pieces, and the rest of the house will be empty.”
Empty of furniture, he means, probably not art. But the art they have on display is likely to be Contemporary in one form or another. That brings up the other trend that will clearly need to gather momentum: dealers and auction houses are marketing undervalued pre-modernist works as never before.
“If the auction houses pick their 50 or so best objects, then their top buyers don’t have to sift through several sales,” said Stuart Lochhead, director of the London-based works of art dealers Daniel Katz Ltd. “People are less connoisseurial these days. Finance people are always rushing. They have so little time.”