As we enter the dog days of Summer, OMNP looks back at some of the highlights of the year, in a three-post series. In this entry, a look at the market’s movement.
Following the encouraging results of last December’s auctions in London, Old Masters continued to assert themselves as a small isle of respite within the submerged art economy. Amidst reports of Madoff-ed museums, and substantial job cuts and declines in revenue at the major auction houses, speculation questioned whether the market would actually hold up. The bullish results of January’s sales in New York and July’s sales in London, however, continued to demonstrate the stabilized appeal of the classics.
Another notable market development has been the expansion of buying interest in Old Masters, which seems to be growing with Modern and Contemporary collectors. Two major successes at Christie’s attested to such change-the monumental sale of the art collection of Yves Saint Laurent in March and their major auction of Old Masters in July. Interest for the wide range of items available in the former sale was surely propelled by the namesake of their famous owner. Yet Christie’s instincts to host its first combined sale of Old Masters with 19th Century art paid off handsomely. This trend was also seen at TEFAF Maastricht, the longtime annual art fair whose continued glamour and success stood out amidst the some of the deepest depths of the recession.