FIVE PAINTINGS BY DY SELL VERY WELL AT SWORDERS ON 17TH OCTOBER 2023
WE THOUGHT THE PAINTING IN OUR ARTICLE WAS A BARGAIN AT 3500 -4500. IT ENDED SELLING FOR 6500 PLUS 30% COMMISSIONS AND CHARGES.
THE REST OF THE DYF PAINTINGS SOLD BETWEEN 9500 TO 7000 THOUSAND POUNDS.
HERE IS A STORY FROM MY OWN TRADES OF DYF GOING BACK TO 1988
Can I offer a painting for sale even before I have it in my hands?
7th June 1988 San Francisco – 6th September 1988 Lewes, East Sussex, England
I had lost hope of buying anything important by June 1988. Nevertheless, I have never been one to give up, forever an optimist and believer. The catalogue from San Francisco arrived in early June as usual. There were many paintings and there appeared nothing to attract me at first glance, but re-visiting catalogues and checking artists’ names twice and three times was routine and essential. That exercise had proved profitable in earlier years and so I kept up the practice. It was imperative to do this, as something might jog the memory and perhaps identify a potential bargain! Remember that it is impossible to research hundreds or thousands of artists overnight, so it is essential to have for immediate recall thousands of names to work on. Yes, thousands increase your chances of a bargain somewhere!
(French, [1899-1985] Modernist artist, painting the beautiful landscapes of Southern France in a free style and bright pastel colouring. Extensively collected in France, Britain, the United States and Canada. Auction price range £2000 – 20,000)
Looking at the entries in that catalogue for the fifth time, I kept stopping at one particular painting by Marcel Dyf. I had already noticed a certain movement on this artist in London. I had also seen paintings of the artist at Frost and Reed in London on Bond Street and then Stacey-Marks in Eastbourne. The major auction rooms were selling his work at about £5000, which meant that the galleries were selling two to three times more than that. Yes, Marcel Dyf was a popular artist with serious backing in England and France and to a lesser degree in the USA. He was an international commodity stock with a good price tag and an upward looking selling curve, which I attributed partly to his recent passing away. It was a good shout!
The Dyf in the Butterfields sale was very pretty according to Roman, the expert in charge. It was a sea-view with boats in Southern France. The style was free, strong, sure and likeable. The size was middle of the road 45 x 55cm. It looked attractive, although illustrated in black and white, and was worth at that moment about £4-5000 in London. If I bought at £2000 I would make some money to carry on, since no major piece had appeared on the horizon anywhere. Some further research convinced me that I was onto the right painting with potential for better in the near future, since the market was also picking up well after the exchanges disaster of October 1987.
Luckily, I bought the painting at £2200, which was on the low side of what I was prepared to pay. However, although happy with the purchase, I was unhappy at the same time. While planning the purchase of the Dyf and having committed to it, I had spotted another painting in Paris that perhaps was the major painting I had been waiting to invest in. That painting was a lot more desirable than the Dyf and taking away some £2000 from my funds was not ideal.
Time was of the essence in all my purchases and sales in those years. Where was the best place to sell the painting given the restrictions of time? Which was the most attractive and convenient place to work with? After serious thought and after carefully analysing the results of Gorringes auctions in Lewes, East Sussex, I decided that the best place to sell and recoup my investment quickly was there. Knowing the auctioneers well was a great advantage; being well aware of their sales and results was essential. Their first sale of the year was in the first week of September, so I knew I would have a problem in bringing the picture over in time and having it catalogued too.
Trust and honesty in this business is extremely important
I wasted no time in calling Gorringes’ owner-auctioneer who was by then a good friend. I explained the situation to him and it was no problem to have the painting accepted and catalogued before it arrived from San Francisco. On asking whether Stacy-Marks bought the artist at his auction, he confirmed that he did and also informed me that a couple of galleries in London were buying the artist.
The deal was done and by the middle of August I had the painting in my hands. Compared to the best of Dyf’s paintings I had seen it measured very well; the colours were fantastic, the composition superb and the view of Southern France magnificent. It was all I expected and more! It was the perfect painting for Dyf lovers, but was the fact that I had just bought it going to affect its selling? (The disappointing sales of Seago, Hofmann and Dawson were still haunting me, but the Montezin miracle encouraged me.)
TO CONTINUE TOMORROW!