London's June Imp-Mod market is in a tough spot; Is Dan Loeb master-minding the Sotheby's sale? China's museum building boom has no incentives for building collections.This commentary by Marion Maneker is available to AMMpro subscribers. (The first month of AMMpro is free and subscribers are welcome to sign up for the first month and cancel before they are billed.) The Impressionist and Modern Evening sale results last week did little excite the market. The lopsided tally between Sotheby’s and Christie’s was hardly the biggest problem. Neither house saw the kind of bidding that might encourage buyers or sellers to anticipate the next round of sales. Even though we know that there are serious buyers for Impressionist and Modern works, the London sales seemed spotty and driven entirely by the individual works, not the market or even the artists themselves. Curiously, the combined total of the London Evening sales was almost the same as the 2016 total which had been a significant reset in overall art market volumes from the year before. In our analysis for AMMpro subscribers next week, we’ll show that the Evening sale internal dynamics were actually built upon more diverse sales middle market sales this week than they were three years prior. One reason it is so difficult to draw any broader conclusion from these small sales is that they seem to be hand-picked as a counter-point to the much larger May sales in New York which only seem to have grown in importance over the last two years with the Rockefeller sale a year ago and Christie’s push this year with several collections as well as the huge Monet price at Sotheby’s.
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