Memo to owners of fine art: Unless you’ve recently lost your fortune and are desperate for some quick cash, this is a horrible market. Here’s the latest report from last night:
Bloomberg: A Damien Hirst painting of four skulls that was tipped to fetch at least $3 million at Phillips de Pury & Co.’s New York auction didn’t sell, the biggest upset of last night’s auction that missed presale low estimates by more than half. It was the third sale this week to disappoint art dealers and may herald a decline that tracks the drop in stock markets.
Phillips took $9.6 million with fees, against its presale low projection of $23 million. Two in five lots didn’t sell. Gone was the party ambience that filled its loft-like Manhattan headquarters in previous seasons. Collectors such as Mera and Don Rubell, Adam Lindemann, Stavros Merjos and Maria Baibakova looked on as 21 lots found no buyers. A comparable sale a year ago fetched $42.3 million
The news comes a day after Dick and Kahty Fuld tried selling their art, costing Christie’s $6 million.
Meanwhile, Christie’s are tightening payment rules for buyers. They don’t want people waving that paddle around trying to look swank without actually coughing up the dough.
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