One thing that was often said about the Al-Thanis when they were buying art is that they were aggressive bidders of setting prices above the prevailing rates. Colin Gleadell points to an interesting test case. Sheikh Saud al-Thani. Al-Thani died in 2014, a year after engaging in this bidding war:
A rare Chinese bronze wine vessel from the 11th century BC […] appeared for sale at Sotheby’s in New York in 2013 with a $400,000 estimate, it sold for $2.2 million.
Much of Al-Thanis collecting wound up in the Qatari museums. But a few pieces, like this one, are coming back to market. So now the vessel is featured at Giuseppe Eskenazi’s Asian Art London exhibition this week.
Did the Sheikh massively overpay when he bought the bronze three years ago? Apparently not, Eskenazi has it on offer for $3.5m, a nice profit even if the buyer manages to work out a discount.
Market News: the end of an era in St James’s? (Telegraph)