Supply, or the lack thereof, is said to be the constraint on the current art market. In October, the London market will see a small test of that when Christie’s sells the 200-lot collection of works from influential dealer Leslie Waddington’s home.
The value in the collection is concentrated in four works. But given the market’s interest in finding great examples of artists whose work is not as over-traded, the Waddington provenance might prove a strong pull for buyers:
It was during the golden 1980s that Waddington acquired what are now his four most valuable works. Top prices are expected for works by Jean Dubuffet (a classic 1950s painting by one his favourite artists), Alexander Calder (rare wall mounted mobile called Serpent), and Agnes Martin (another classic of a spare, pale grid), each priced at £2-3 million. From an earlier era, displaying the range of Waddington’s interests is an early 1920s painting by the mercurial Francis Picabia, Lampe, which explores the idea of beauty in both literal and mechanical terms and is estimated at £800,000 to £1.5 million.