INVEST ON THE DOWN!!
WHEN INVESTING IN ANYTHING, TRY TO AVOID THE REALLY HIGHS AND DECIDE TO GET INTO THAT MARKET IN THE MIDDLE OR LOWS. THE GREEK ART MARKET WAS HOT IN THE YEARS 2007-2009. SINCE 2010 THE GREEK MARKET SLOWED DOWN AND OVER THE LAST FIVE YEARS THE MARKET TOOK A BATTERING. IT IS STILL ON THE BOTTOM IT COULD HAVE EVER BEEN. ROUGHLY SPEAKING THE ART MARKET OF GOOD GREEK ART IS ABOUT WHERE IT WAS IN 1990.
THUS OPPORTUNITIES ARE PLENTY TO INVEST IN GREEK ART AND EVEN THE REALLY TOP PAINTINGS OF ARTISTS SUCH AS GHYSIS, VOLANAKIS, IAKOBIDES, GHIKA, PAPALOUKAS , MALEAS CAN BE BOUGHT AT 50% OR LOWER OF THEIR HIGHS OF 2007-09.
I HAVE BEEN OF THE VIEW THAT INVESTING IN GREEK ART IS A GOOD MOVE RIGHT NOW.
(Greek, [1879-1928] One of the top artists of early 20th century Greek art. Collected avidly by private and public galleries and museums. Sells worldwide at very high prices. Auction price range £5,000-300,000)
May 24th 2013, Salonica
Greek art is still under a cloud and it will remain so for as long as the economy in Greece remains negative and stagnant. However, the believers and bold business people are out fighting the storm, seizing investment opportunities and chasing the riches. True to my advice and beliefs, I am one of those and hopefully some of my readers are persuaded to follow suit.
There were about half a dozen paintings to choose from in the Salonica auction but as usual money was limited and being selective was the order. Contopoulos was possible, but abstract and not to my liking. Spyropoulos was possible, but moody and dark, even though at a bargain price. Fassianos was to my liking, but a very prolific artist and too many pieces of his out on the market. Finally, there was Constantine Maleas with a superb oil painting “View of Lavrion” in the inimitable 1920s style of the artist.
What superb colouration and poetry in oils! I looked at it once, ten times, fifty times and more. I fell in love with the painting and the realistic demands of the vendors. It was low, it was teasing. I could not resist it, although I would be adding another Greek artist to the collection, but at a bargain price. Not half price, but about one tenth of the price at present and perhaps one twentieth in a few years’ time.
Is it genuine? Yes, no doubt! The provenance is solid as well as all the particulars of the painting, style, age, location and medium painted on. I am not optimistic, but I am not to be put off.
23rd May 2013
I leave an indifferent bid, and as I informed the auctioneer, to start the bidding. My bid is too low, the auctioneer informs me. I raise the bid and I wait for the sale result hoping rather than believing in my bid- too low, but I was not prepared to go any higher. A bargain should be a bargain!! Remember the Coulentianos at Rosebury’s?
Sunday, 25th May 2013
The email from the auctioneer reads: “You are the successful buyer of Maleas, a beautiful work by the artist and the best piece in the sale!”
At £4600 I became the new owner of a wonderful painting by one of the top Greek artists of the early twentieth century. I genuinely wanted the Maleas but my maximum offer was five thousand and not a penny more.
I am over the moon, I am tremendously excited and I cannot wait to get the Maleas home and hang it up next to the best pieces of the collection. The Maleas is not just a beautiful, evocative scene painted by a master, it is a painting in a unique style of a special location and also the bargain I had waited patiently for a few years now.
An anxious wait until the painting finally arrives. I open the small packet and stare at the masterpiece of Maleas. First impressions are better than the images in the catalogue and the Internet. However, I have to make sure that I have invested five thousand pounds wisely.
Is it a genuine Maleas or is it a fake?
I take the frame off the painting. I examine the board the work is painted on. Great! Old, genuine, untouched! I check the signature and the front of the painting once again. A great Maleas work!
Satisfied and beaming with happiness, I hang the painting over my working table. I stare at it hungrily and I love it more and more by the day. What an investment for the future!
Why is the Constantine Maleas work such a great investment and bargain, you might wonder? How can I invest five thousand pounds in such a piece with the Greek market in freefall?
· Maleas’ work of this quality and size (25cm x40cm), depending on colouration and location, used to sell between £20-60,000 over the last fifteen years.
· Maleas’ top auction price reached £300,000 and more significantly even during the downturn in Greek art this type of painting by the artist has sold for £50,000.
With such prices reached at auction how was I able to buy for so little?
Well, the auction I bought from was not a major auction in London or elsewhere. Investors in Greek art are still apprehensive about investing in that art and while the market is down! My experience tells me this is the time to invest in very good pieces at bargain prices.
Opportunities exist not only in the Greek market but elsewhere too, as you will read further down. There is always a bargain somewhere as long as you have the knowledge and you put the effort to locate it. This time it happened to be a Greek artist, next time it might be a French or German or American artist. Whoever perseveres and searches for the bargain will succeed. Patience is a virtue!