INSURANCE SAVES ME A PRETTY PENNY!!

PAYING INSURANCE COSTS AT AUCTION IS A HEAVY BURDEN

MANY A TIMES I RESENTED PAYING INSURANCE BECAUSE IT AMOUNTS TO A LOT OF MONEY IN THE NED. AT 1.5% OF THE SOLD VALUE OF ANY ITEM AT MAJOR AUCTIONS, IT MAKES A HEFTY EXPENSE WHEN YOU ARE TURNING OVER A FEW HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS. HOWEVER, WITH NO INSURANCE ONE IS WALKING THE ROPE OVER NIAGARA FALLS!!

 

 

Stolen! What do you mean stolen?

 

I have not spoken about Christie’s South Kensington, London extensively yet because most of the paintings I had bought there up to 1988 were either too insignificant or unprofitable enough to mention.  I started frequenting this auction as early as 1984 and made many purchases, albeit nothing spectacular up to this point of my story.  However, the following story is unique and needs to be narrated because several lessons can be learned.

 

Otto Gebler

 

(German, [1838-1917] A well-respected and collected artist in Germany and elsewhere who painted animal scenes with sheep and cows. Auction price range £3000- 60,000)

 

17th March 1988, Christie’s S. Kensington – 8th April 1988, Dr Nagel, Cologne, Germany

 

The work by Otto Gebler had been offered for sale at Christie’s, King Street main saleroom a few months earlier but remained unsold with an estimate of £6-8000.  I attributed that failure to post stock exchanges effects. The painting was then brought over to South Kensington, where it failed to sell again with an estimate of £2-3000. That was very strange because Gebler was an artist with very good auction sales in Germany and elsewhere. 

 

Soon after in March 1988 that same Gebler appeared for sale a third time at Christie’s. Was it third time lucky? Yes, it was!  I was the lucky buyer at a cost of £1000!  It was a fine oil painting on panel, which on a good day in Germany could sell for £5000.  Admittedly it was small, but it had what was required; a well painted, popular subject and in very good condition.

 

No sooner had I bought the minute oil painting than I shipped it to Nagel Auctions in Cologne.  No procrastinating, no difficulties and no headaches at all. Sending it via the Post Office for a few pounds was easy as the painting was in total 30x20cm, including the flimsy, old frame.  The consignment documents were sent and all paperwork was in place. The agreement was £3,000-5000 estimate with a reserve of £3,000 to be sold in April 1988.  This was efficient, quick trading.

 

It was the second week of April, but no catalogue had arrived yet.  This was not the usual German efficiency!  Nearly all auctions have their catalogues ready two to three weeks before the relevant sale and consignors receive a copy together with a confirmation of their property for sale including estimate and reserve.  By the third week I was seriously worried!  Where was my catalogue from Nagel of Cologne?  I waited and waited in vain. Worried, frustrated and puzzled by the event, I decided to phone the auction. The telephonist / receptionist had no idea who I was and there was no Gebler of my description in the sale!  My worry increased tenfold, by which time I was passed on to one of the senior directors. That alerted me to a serious problem, but what was it?

 

“I am Peter Constant, sir. I cannot get a satisfactory answer to my problem. Can you please help me?”

 

“Mr Constant, I am afraid I have some bad news for you.”

 

“What bad news?”

 

“Your painting was stolen from our gallery!”

 

“What do you mean stolen? Where is my painting? What happened?”

 

“Please, do not panic,” the manager reassured me calmly. “Your painting was insured for £3000, at the reserve you set, and that you will get within the next month.  Mr Constant, your property was a small painting. Two robbers rushed into the gallery and took your painting and a small carpet. We chased them for some distance and we got the rug back but not the painting. It was so small and light that they got away with it. I am so sorry to disappoint you!”  He was genuinely apologetic.

 

“Yes, yes, I see,” I mumbled.  But, I was happy and relieved! The insurance sum was plenty enough for me!  I thanked him for the information, but I was not sorry for the theft. I was so relieved they would pay me at the reserve, a handsome profit on my investment in less than three months.  I put the phone down and sighed with relief.  Thank God it was stolen! No worries about it being sold or not!  Life teaches us many lessons daily and this was a lesson I took on board even more seriously after that event.

 

·         Unsold art should be respected.

 

·         Have a reserve on your consignments.

 

·         Insure your property for peace of mind with the auctioneers’ insurance or your own.

 

·         Have peace of mind by insuring your valuable art, even though it is an expensive policy.

 

 

All auctions of mention insure anything consigned to them for fire, damage, theft etc. This is a necessary expense passed on to sellers although in many cases resented by them. The proceeds from the insurance came in by the end of May and the bank account was bulging in the thousands.  For the first time since late 1986 my bank account was looking healthy, and that after a major financial disaster.  My stock was substantial, but I still lacked that one important major item.  Would I find it and bare the account to the bone?

 

IN MY NEXT BLOG I WILL WRITE ABOUT HOW I SAVE 1000 POUNDS

BECAUSE OF INSURANCE. HOW MANY TIMES I LOST A PAINTING ON ITS

WAY TO A N AUCTION ABROAD??

 

                                                         PETER CONSTANT

  

TIMING DEFINES SUCCESS OR FAILURE!!!

WHEN DO YOU BUY OR SELL?

SELLING WHEN YOU ARE IN THE CORNER AND IN DESPAIR IS A RECIPE FOR DISASTER. THAT WHAT HAPPENED TO ME DURING THE LONG RECESSION OF 1990S. OVER-EXPOSED TO LOANS, OVER-INVESTED, I HAD TO SELL EVEN THOUGH I KNEW IT WAS THE WRONG TIME TO SELL.

 

An inexplicable disastrous sale!!!

 

WAS IT INEXPLICABLE THOUGH??

November 1993

A biting, deepening, hard recession for three years caused alarm bells to go off once more by mid 1993. The difference to 1991 and 1992 was the intensity and severity.  Even though my expenses on the loans and overdrafts were high, I stubbornly continued to invest small sums in Greek art, other art and contemporary art from studios. I was addicted to collecting and trading. The consolation was the regular monthly salary that kept the wolves at bay. The pain was just about bearable, but for how long?  This was not good enough for me.  I was in shackles and I was unhappy!

Should I sell out?  Not I!  There are no guarantees of sales at auctions, unless you own a high-class collection of Picassos, Matisses, Renoirs or Monets.  Then, perhaps Monsieur Pinault of Christie’s will guarantee them for you in the hope they either sell very well or do not sell at all and end up in his enviable collection, one of the best in the world.

No such luck here! Selling at auction does not guarantee success ever. Sales might be great one day, but disastrous on another. One needs to experience these ups and downs of the markets in order to be prepared for the worst. The best is always welcome, but a terrible sale is hard to stomach and harder to cope with emotionally. The early 1990s tested the resilience of any business including mine, which I must admit was precariously close to bankruptcy but for the steady job that made things viable.

Mr T in Athens needed to sell and I was desperate to sell too. We agreed with not much hesitation to consign a good selection of Greek paintings at Christie’s, London, in spite of the annual Greek sale at Christie’s in Athens.  It was an experiment with a small downside to it, which was partly forced upon us by the expert at Christie’s in Athens who was not agreeable on many of the issues related to our consignments. Needless to explain that both myself and Mr T found it hard at times to work with the lady there.  From a casual receptionist at Christie’s, London, oops, all of a sudden, she became the expert and the main person in Athens, which seemed too quick for her.

Beware! Some experts do become experts by association, not through qualifications and experience. Appearances do mislead; titles are just allocated and assumed, not necessarily earned.

Selling important art in 1993 was like setting off from port in hurricane winds. In addition, selling Greek art in London was not the ideal place at the time. But when circumstances force one to sell, one has to sell. The agreement I made with Christie’s was simple, a 6% selling commission, and if no sale no charges.  I was able to negotiate the sale with such good terms because:

·         I had contacts in the right places, whose help was invaluable.

·         My experience and good knowledge of the auction business and items for sale facilitated the acceptance of a consignment.

·         A good consignment of ten or twenty paintings cannot be rejected easily by any auction, especially when the consignment totals hundreds of thousands of pounds.

·         Auctioneers appreciate regular sellers and buyers of good value art.

 

November 1993, Christie’s London

The sale at Christie’s in November 1993 was a desperate attempt to raise money from various investments and pay off all my creditors. I was tired of struggling month after month to meet the payments at the end of each month. It was a vicious circle, which I could put to bed with the sale of the ace painting I had, Alexandra Exter.

There were thirty-five Greek paintings by artist and content ranging from £1500-100,000 in the 19th Century Christie’s sale of November 1993. Thirty of them belonged to Mr T and myself.  The Exter painting was the top lot with a low estimate of £100,000, a reasonable reserve in my view.  Although it was a slow time for all areas of the art market the Greek market was upward moving. This fact was supported by the sales in London in earlier years, those held in Athens by Mihalarias since 1987 and Christie’s since 1992.

The Greek section of the sale started misleadingly well, with an Apostolos Geralis painting belonging to Mr T selling for £18,000. That raised my hopes for the next lot, which was the Exter. I was on the hot seat. I had raised my hopes for a good sale and I had made several plans on what to do with the money raised. The Exter painting remaining unsold was inconceivable. Simply it was my trump ace and my pride!

“Alexandra Exter,” announced the auctioneer asking for £60,000 and I am trembling like an autumn leaf ready to drop and rot away.

“Sixty thousand pounds, sixty thousand. Sixty-two thousand, sixty-two thousand, I have.” The auctioneer looked anxiously around, but there was no leaf moving.  No hand went up. No interest at all.  The gavel came down like a ton of bricks, crashing my hopes and dreams.  The Exter remained unsold at £62,000.  It was a devastating blow but not the end of the world as I knew that a painting unsold today might be worth tens of thousands more in a few years’ time. That was a fact and that gave me some encouragement to disperse the blues that engulfed me.

Besides, there were thirty other paintings to make money from. No need to worry and despair! Little did I know!  The pressure piled further; the next lots remained unsold too and were even worse than the Exter. Volanakis failed, Iakovides failed, Ralli failed, Lembessis, Prosalentis. Those were important names in Greek art, but there was no interest. To add to that calamity the same pattern continued with Ithakisios, Geralis, Karavia Flora, Geraniotis and even Parthenis and Nicolas Lytras. To keep the sinking boat afloat a lovely marine painting by Krystallis brought in about £3500 net. What a relief!

What happened? What did Christie’s do this time round? I had no idea! Actually, I could not think straight under the circumstances. It was so bad, so unbelievably hard to accept and understand.  That was the first time that such a collection of first-rated Greek artists had remained unsold en masse. I had read the market so wrongly which was unlike me.  It was incomprehensible.  I guessed that such bad sales do occur from time to time and that was one of them! The impact on my morale and my business was serious but fortunately not crippling to the point of going under. I did have one small sale and I collected introductory commissions in London and Athens a couple of months later. Those commissions were like blood infusions to the sickly art business. Such sums plus my salary from teaching kept everything going although the danger of folding up was real and constant.

 

Unsold works of art might be worth more in later years

I mention the artists unsold in 1993 to point out that an unsold painting today does not mean it is worthless. My experience told me that actually there was a good chance of better prices in later years.

The point is well served when some of those unsold paintings sold after 1993.

·         Lembessis sold for £7000 at Christie’s, Athens two years later.

·         Ithakisios sold for £7,000 at Christie’s, Athens after failing to sell for £5000 in London.

·         Apostolos Geralis (landscape) sold for £5,000 at Sotheby’s London a year later, after failing to sell at £3,000.

·         Lytras sold for £14,000 in Athens a few years later after failing to sell at £5,000 in London.

·         Volanakis sold for £75,000 a few years later at Sotheby’s.

·         The Prosalentis marine picture I sold privately in Athens for £3,000 a few months later, having bought it there for only £500 in 1991, but more importantly after I had it cleaned and framed properly.

·         Finally the Exter did not sell at Christie’s in 1993 but did so in 2000 at Sotheby’s, an event I shall elaborate on later. 

Dealing/investing /collecting for nearly thirty years has always been a learning curve and an accumulation of experience of one sort or another. It has been crystal clear from day one that any work of art has a value and if it fails to sell today, it may sell tomorrow for more money and rarely for less. Keep faith! Choosing the right venue and time to try again to sell might lead to great surprises as was the case with the Eugene Montezin painting in 1987.  Timing, change of venue, literature, better cataloguing and better economic times help to a better sale!

 

With a few thousand made from this sale I breathed a sigh of relief and got on to investing once again. But how long would a few thousand last with my addiction?

 

THE SLAE I REGRETTED BUT WAS HAPPY TO HAVE AT THE TIME!

ALWAYS REGRETTED THE SALE OF GOOD ASSETS!!

BEING AN INVESTOR, I HAD TO SELL IN ORDER TO RE-INEST. THAT WAS A GOOD POLICY AT THE TIME AND PERHAPS AT ANY TIME. HOWEVER, SOME ASSETS MUST BE CONSIDERED NEVER FOR SALE AND ALWAYS KEPT AS A SECURITY. I AM AFRAID I NEVER DID THAT AND THAT IS ONE OF THE FAILURES OF MY INVESTMENT STRATEGY!!

 

NEW YORK 1986

 

New York, here I come!

How on earth does an amateur make it to New York and try to enter a masterpiece for sale?  That was the million-dollar question, but I was not to be put off by such details. Never one to retreat, never one to buckle under pressure and lack of experience, I jumped into situations and came through difficulties a more mature, experienced and tougher man, even though on many occasions emotionally bruised and hurt at times. Armed with a huge desire to succeed and prosper, no obstacle was high enough to stop my quest in art. 

I aspired high and I was inspired!

 

First things first, though, I had to pay for the Hofmann and then have it shipped to London.  It was essential to show the experts in New York that the painting had come from London and that I was not a dealer who had bought the painting only a couple of months earlier in San Francisco. That was imperative because auctioneers always like fresh paintings on the market.  The Seago experience and lessons learned from that trade were invaluable.  The way I handled that sale was flawed and very amateurish thus the bad result. I had already worked out the reasons for failure and avoiding the same mistakes was crucial to the success of the investment.

·         Being a private individual than a dealer is preferable to auctioneers and experts! I had to play a role.  It was not deception!  It was marketing!

·         Freshness on the market of any work of art is important and preferred, thus I had to conceal the recent sale in San Francisco!

The painting arrived in London by the middle of July. The box was big but much bigger was my anxiety and eagerness to see the Hofmann and marvel at those colours I had heard so much about. The wooden box protected the work well; professional packaging at a price was paid for.

Out of the box came the Hofmann, my hands trembling and anxiety mounting - no laughing matter. It was eleven thousand dollars worth of art and perhaps fifty thousand by the end of the year.  Wraps off; greens, red, orange, black.  Black!!! Never seen anything similar before. The thick board was covered in greens and oranges with a little bit of red and then a SPLASH, a rich splash of ebony black paint thrown on top of everything else! The finished composition was magnificent and the splash of black was indeed its trademark. That made the painting stand out but also confirmed it as of that period of the artist’s work. 

It was stunning. It was a master’s creation. It was Hans Hofmann!  What did the painting show?  What did Hofmann want to say? I puzzled over this for some time but it was just guesswork. The artist was dead and there was no way anybody could explain the meaning and purpose of the painting except the artist himself.  As H.W.Beecher says,

 “ Every artist dips his brush in his own soul and paints his own nature into his pictures.”

I immediately got on to work with the two major auction houses in New York.  Sotheby’s estimated the painting at $30,000-50,000 and Christie’s $15,000-25,000.  Better results were achieved at Sotheby’s and so my decision was to consign the Hofmann with them.  I made sure that several issues that worried me were discussed prior to my travelling to New York:

·        It was agreed that the painting would be entered in the best sale and in Part One of the Contemporary Art sale in November 1986.

·        An illustration cost to my liking was fixed.

·        The reserve was guaranteed between $30-50,000.

·        I could not ask for 6% trade commission because I presented myself as a private seller from London.

“I shall see you in New York next week with the painting, sir,” were my final words to the expert in charge. Thus, preparations to conquer my new world of art began; tickets and exportation documents from the UK, importation in the United States at Kennedy Airport with a reputable agency. Everything was a new experience. I was apprehensive but determined to do things perfectly.

 

Pan Am had no arguments in taking in the well-packed Hofmann as cargo and me as a passenger with a baggage-load of inexperience. That was roughly three years after I had started the art business and I was selling paintings at the biggest art auctions in the world. It was an amazing experience already but it was gradually getting better, more exciting, more demanding and more challenging on my whole lifestyle and emotions.  Indeed, it had been an unbelievable journey into the world of art up to that point!  Could it get any better? Were there any more surprises? Were there new heights to scale which I still could not dream of nor imagine? This journey was at its beginnings! I did not know!

 

The Odyssey in art had just begun, but would I reach my Ithaca!

 

THE BARGAIN I NEVER KEPT FOR NOW

IT IS MUCH HARDER TO AQUIRE A BARGAIN TODAY!

IT WAS NOT SO BACK IN THE 1980S WHEN THE INTERNET WAS NOT KNOWN TO MOST OF US AND WHEN THE SECRETS OF BARGAINS AROUND WERE THE PRIVILEGE OF THE FEW. IT WAS SUCH A SITUATION THAT LED ME TO THE PURCHASE AND INVESTMENT IN A GREAT PAINTING BY THE AMERICAN EXPRESSIONIST HANS HOFMANN!!

 

 

 

 

Hans Hofmann at $10,000 excites the imagination!

 June 1986, San Francisco

With the disappointment of the Seago experience history, I looked ahead to sales and catalogues for my next investments. It became very clear to me that on several occasions when I had invested in Modern British art I had made no money of mention. The Seago investment confirmed that and turned me off that market. There is no point in flogging a dead horse! Modern British art was a no-go area for me! Too many investors were chasing the same thing and that limited the profit margins to nearly nothing. Where could I turn my eyes on next and make a sound investment? I did not know, I could not even guess; it was extreme frustration to have money sitting in a bank account.

It was early June and the eagerly awaited Butterfields and Butterfields June catalogue finally arrived. I looked through it quickly, always chasing 19th Century paintings and Impressionists, but nothing caught my attention or attracted me to look further. The collection in that catalogue was poor. Disappointed and frustrated, I put the catalogue aside for another look later.  Catalogues, new or old, were revered; they hid the secrets of success and treasures!

Some practices I put into action in this business early on proved extremely helpful and at times highly profitable both in the early days of my dealing life and of course later.  Gradually they became habits of immense importance that rewarded the faithful student.

·         Buying catalogues and reference books, although expensive, was essential and rewarding.

·         Studying new catalogues and names in them many times. That kept the names in my memory bank and helped me when I was in an auction without catalogues or reference books. These I could not carry around as they were too many by now, heavy and cumbersome. 

·         Writing down names of artists in booklets and memorizing names daily.

·         Attending viewings and auctions without fail.

·         Revisiting old catalogues time and again; no doubt this assisted me in the quest for bargains.

It was such a revisiting of an old catalogue that woke me up to the contemporary painting of Hans Hofmann in the Butterfields sale. I saw the name in this old catalogue, it rang a bell, but where had I seen it? Which catalogue was it in? Back to the Butterfields catalogue and there it was. What a stroke of luck!  What a good student I was and what a possible reward!

 

Hans Hofmann

(American, [1880-1966] A German born American abstract expressionist artist who profoundly influenced art in the USA with his teaching and his avant-garde art of the 1940s and 1950s. Auction price range $10,000- 6,000,000)

Yes, the Contemporary Art catalogue of Sotheby’s I had bought in October or November 1985 showed two or three paintings of Hofmann selling at $50,000 plus. That was it.  Could I trade an American artist in America from west to east? I had traded art from auction to auction in London, I reasoned, why not from San Francisco to New York?  San Francisco is as close to New York as London, even though in the same country.  I locked on the painting immediately and a frenzy of research in two countries, the UK and USA followed.

Roman, the Butterfields’ expert, informed me that the painting was great!  It was colourful and fresh on the market, provenanced by Kootz Gallery and of a very good period. “It’s worth a few thousand more,” he advised me.  Excitement!

I was happy with the information, but I was not satisfied with just the few results I had gathered about the artist’s auction sales. I needed to find out more, so I wisely spent a few pounds on the phone. I called Christie’s to find out about their contemporary sales and whether there were any Hofmann works with them. I did not have their November nor March catalogues, but I was informed that the sales of paintings by Hofmann were in the $30,000-50,000 bracket. 

It became evident by the end of my research that the Hofmann painting was worth at least double, if not five times as much as the estimate of Butterfields.  “Nobody is interested in Hofmann’s work and you can buy it at $10,000,” Roman confided.  Was Roman telling me the truth?  I always respected his honesty, his opinion on the quality of paintings and his assistance in every deal I had at Butterfields! This was a more important painting however and I was worried in case the expert had a last minute interested party.

I had the funds to invest, the money from the Seago sale, and this was a fantastic opportunity to make a serious profit this time round! Absolutely great!  Hofmann was a much more important artist, for a much larger and powerful market and country. This investment seemed far more exciting than the Seago, but surely millions of Americans would see it and of course go for it!  Would I be able to buy it at ten thousand dollars?  Impossible!  American dealers would outbid me for sure!  However, there was nothing to stop me from trying to buy and on my own terms.

So why was there such a low estimate?  I could not comprehend it. It was a puzzle but what a puzzle to have a headache about!  Was there anything wrong with the Butterfields painting?  I went over the headache called Hofmann many times and I reasoned:

·         Roman was always honest with me, so I concluded quickly, no problem with authenticity!

·         The auction estimated conservatively.

·         People had not seen the painting or they were not interested in it! After all it was such a splash of black colour on a board. Unattractive!

I had to grab the opportunity and risk the whole bank! Such opportunities rarely appear and if not taken, never reappear.  I slept over the issue for nights. I had sleepless nights thinking about the investment and then…

Bid and buy was the firm decision!  Besides, I could see nothing more promising to invest in anywhere else. I hoped to buy the Hofmann on the phone that morning in early June and at the reserve price of $10,000.  If successful, I would be left with a couple of thousand in the account, literally penniless once again. What a vicious circle, but who was to blame for that? Myself, my addiction to buying art and my desire to accumulate profits quickly and while the iron was hot.

Buying an expressionist painting by a highly significant name at $10,000 was an event one never forgets - more so for an investor who three years earlier could barely afford a one hundred dollars painting. It was all so incredible!  Was I in another world dreaming or was it all happening by accident on planet earth? I was lost in the art world. It was a dream world I enjoyed, a world I loved and one that delivered me riches.  What a beautiful world!

Four o’clock in the morning London time was like midday for me. The nightbird was up singing much earlier than the auction time, unable to close his eyes, unable to suppress the excitement of a new major investment, impatient for that phone call.

It was finally time.  “Six lots to the Hofmann, Mr Constant.”  I paid no attention to any other results; all I wanted to know was about the Hofmann.

“How are the colours of the Hofmann, miss?”

“Beautiful, with a running splash of black!”

 

In no time, the painting I had dreamed of for about two weeks was up for sale. I was a bundle of nerves. Butterflies in my stomach, heartbeat accelerating but determination and iron will to invest. It was my biggest opportunity to buy a very important artist and my most expensive painting ever. I was risking about 80% of my cash. Could I make a 50% profit from this investment?

My wild thoughts and calculations were interrupted by the voice of the auctioneer, “Hans Hofmann.”

“Here we go sir,” intervened the young lady.  “Seven thousand, sir!  Are you bidding?”

“Yes, seven thousand.”

“Seven five hundred against you.  Eight thousand against you,” and it became obvious to me that the auctioneer was bidding himself to reach the reserve.

“Ten thousand, ten thousand against all in the room, on the phone.”

 At ten thousand dollars the Hofmann was knocked down to me.  Feelings of relief and fear of failure flooded through me at the same time.

“Ten thousand to us, sir. It’s ours sir. Congratulations! It’s a beautiful colourful painting.”

I was ecstatic!  This was compensation for the Seago disappointment, I felt sure about it. It was over. I had bought the painting at $11,000 ($1,000 was commissions, no taxes as the work was to be exported to the UK).  I was the owner of a contemporary painting by the American Expressionist, Hans Hofmann!  What an exciting purchase!  Was it a profitable one though?  Or would I have another experience similar to the Seago?

It felt unbelievable, but immediately the Hofmann started causing me enormous anxiety and worry. I felt I had made a giant step up in art investments, but I was absolutely unprepared and completely overwhelmed by it. It was just too soon after the start of this venture. Worrying questions started to surface.  How do I sell such a painting in another country?  How do I get a masterpiece to New York?  How do I approach the two major auctions of New York to sell such an important painting so soon after buying it?

 

The Seago experience at Sotheby’s had been pretty didactic as well as traumatic. Was I prepared for more such events and snooty people or was New York a different environment?  I knew that Americans were very down to earth people from the years I spent there, but were the art experts of the same mould?  New York’s auctions were unknown to me, but I had to crack that problem and get into the markets there in person! I had already shipped a painting for sale to Sotheby’s and a couple more were ready to be consigned soon.  It was worth my while going to the Big Apple and meeting the people I was dealing with in person. It always helped to know them in England, why not in New York?

 

TO BE CONTINUED NEXT WEEK!!

 

 

 

NEW MARKETS, NEW INTERESTS, NEW INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES!

NEW MARKETS APPEAR AND DEMAND ATTENTION

 

PAUL GUIRAKOSSIAN, LEBANESE

OVER THE 34 YEARS I HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING THE ART MARKETS WORLD WIDE, I WITNESSED FLOURISHING MARKETS, COLLAPSING MARKETS AND STEADY UPWARD MARKETS THAT APPLY MOSTLY TO THE PEOPLE WITH REALLY DEEP POCKETS. NEVERTHELESS, THERE CAME TIMES WHEN EVEN THESE TOP MARKETS WERE TESTED BY WORLD FINANCIAL EVENTS LIKE THE 1987 COLLAPSE OF STOCK EXCHANGES OR RECESSION OF 1990S. IN SPITE OF ALL THOSE EVENTS ART IS A GOOD VIHECLE TO MAKE GOOD RETURNS ON YOUR MONEY IN ADDITION TO JOY AND SATISFACTION LIVING WITH ART.

THAT IS SERIOUSLY IMMEASURABLE!!

THE MARKETS OF THE FAR EAST ARE STILL GOOD FIELDS TO BE INVOLVED AS THERE IS GREAT POTENTIAL IN MANY COUNTRIES FROM INDONESIA, PHILIPPINES, KOREA, VIETNAM, CHINA AND JAPAN TOO. IN MY ARTICLE TODAY I FOCUS ON A NEW EMERGING ART MARKET,

 

 

THE MARKET OF MIDDLE EAST!! 

EVEN THOUGH THE MIDDLE EAST IS IN THE MIDDLE OF WARS, TEARING APART SEVERAL COUNTRIES, ITS ART MARKET STILL CONTINUES TO IMPRESS AND ACHIEVE BETTER RESULTS, SEASON AFTER SEASON. THE RECENT SALE IN DUBAI BY CHRISTIES SHOWS ABUNDANTLY THAT ART PRICES OF ARTISTS OF THE AREA ARE IMPROVING BY A GOOD PERCENTAGE. THERE ARE NO SIGNS OF THIS ART SLOWING DOWN BUT ON THE CONTRARY IMPROVING IN SPITE OF THE UPHEAVALS IN THE AREA.

IRAN IS NOT AT WAR OF COURSE AND THERE WE SEE REALLY ROBUST PRICES THAT PROMISE MUCH BETTER TO COME. EGYPT IS NOT IN THE BEST ECONOMIC SITUATION AND YET ITS ART IS SHOWING GOOD SIGNS OF GROWING AND GOING HIGHER AND HIGHER.

THE WAR IN IRAQ, SYRIA HAVE DEFINITELY AFFECTED THE LOCAL MARKETS AND YET THERE ARE MANY ARTISTS FROM THESE COUNTRIES WHO SELL WELL AND SHOW SIGNS OF SELLING MUCH BETTER IN THE FUTURE.

FINALLY, ONE HAS TO LOOK AT THE MIRACLES HAPPENING IN LEBANON AND THE ART OF THE COUNTRY GOING PLACES. MANY ARTISTS FLOURISHING, HIGH PRICES ACHIEVED AND YET, LEBANON WAS IN CIVIL WAR MODE ONLY A FEW YEARS BACK.

CONCLUDING, I SAY WITH PLENTY OF CONVICTION THAT THIS IS A MARKET THE ART INVESTOR MUST LOOK INTO AND INVEST IN IT!!

 

PETER CONSTANT