Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Art Market Blues

Dire results at de Vere's auction in the D4 hotel last night - the first major art auction of the new season. The attendance was significantly smaller than usual. There was a reasonable number of good quality pictures with the estimates set noticeably lower than last year and yet nearly a third of the works didn't sell. It didn't help that usually ebullient john de Vere looked tired and shook and handed over half way through to his featureless factotum Rory Guthrie. Most pieces that did sell barely made their lower estimates. The usual suspects such as Teskey, Shinnors and Dan O'Neill did reasonably well - although a modestly priced O'Neill landscape didn't go. A large epic Paddy Collins of Yeats crawled to €29K while his other work didn't sell. Camille Souter remains popular and an airy fairy George Russell was one of the few works to surpass its higher estimate. Of the sculptors Rowan Gillespie did best. All in all a dispiriting indication that the art market is going the way of the property market. A rough estimate suggests that these works have halved in value over the past four years.