A picture is worth a 1000 words, but a photo is worth $3.8 million

Wednesday, 18 May, 2011

A 1981 self portrait taken by US photographer Cindy Sherman fetched $3.8 million when it was auctioned last week, becoming the highest price ever realised for a photo.

But what gives Sherman’s work its enormous value, considering she is neither dead, nor even retired? Competing bidders, each intent on securing the image, was the cause it seems:

So what’s so special about a photo of a girl on a tile floor? And what drives that unimaginable price? David Ross, former director of the Whitney and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, says that mainly, it’s a function of two people wanting the same thing: “What matters to most of those collectors is winning. When art becomes a competitive sport,” Ross says on the phone, “all it takes to win is the guts and the money to go further than anyone else, and then, voila, you win. And winning feels really good.”

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Speculating on classic car futures, seeking tomorrow’s collectibles

Friday, 3 December, 2010

If the classic, collectible, car you have an eye on today is out of your price range, you could always consider investing in the – potential – next big thing… cars being manufactured today that may, in time, also become collectible.

What models sitting in showrooms might be the next 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350? The guys at Hagerty Insurance Agency think they know. Each year the company, which bills itself as “the world leader in collector car insurance,” takes a look at everything in showrooms and compiles its “hot list” of 10 future collector cars you can buy now for less than $100,000.

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Is it financially possible to own original works of pop art?

Friday, 28 May, 2010

While owning an original work by Andy Warhol or Roy Lichtenstein is probably out of the question for many of us, ownership of other pop art works may be possible… just.

So, the $64,000 question: how much money do you need to buy original Pop Art? Iconic pictures by leading names will require a lot more than $64,000. Here is just a small selection to whet your appetite. David Hockney’s 1967 A Bigger Splash sold in 2006 for £2.6 million. Back in 2002, Roy Lichtenstein’s 1964 Happy Tears went or $7.2 million. And if you want to really dig deep, Jasper Johns’s 1959 False Start commanded a staggering $80 million in 2006. As did Andy Warhol’s 1964 Turquoise Marilyn (of Marilyn Monroe) in 2007.

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Batman trumps Picasso when it comes to being collectible

Wednesday, 7 April, 2010

Have the accessories, action figures, and even DVDs, of comic-book heroes, and other pop culture icons, become more collectible than the artworks of say Van Gogh and Picasso?

“Some of today’s most successful entrepreneurs were yesterday’s comic geeks,” said Vincent Zurzolo, co-owner of comic book dealer Comic Connect. “They don’t want a Van Gogh or Picasso. They want collectables that mean something to them. Our society is built on pop culture. Superman, Spider-Man, Batman … they’re the icons now.”

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I like your arty stuff better than your valuable stuff

Friday, 4 December, 2009

While there may be some rationale governing the value of share-market and property investments, when it comes to the art market it seems – quite literally – anything can, and will, happen.

The best explanation of the art market may be that it is inexplicable, which is one reason its alchemy continues to fascinate and capture headlines. In no other market do we lavish wealth on such useless and arbitrary things. Advanced systems of trade that are usually the facilitators of market intelligence – international public auctions and historical price indexes – only offer a false sense of comprehension while further distorting art’s valuation.

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Stradivarius violins proving a good recessionary investment

Thursday, 11 June, 2009

Despite the economic downturn, some classical music instruments are proving to be a good investment for their owners, with values not only remaining stable, but even showing modest increases. At least this is the case for instruments worth more than US$100,000, particularly violins, and especially those made by the likes of Stradivari, Amati and Guarneri del Gesù.

“The instruments that sell for more than $1 million are a small percentage of the overall market,” says Philip Margolis, a string-instrument analyst based in Rapperswil, Switzerland. “These are the ones you hear about, but there are maybe 500 in the world. But musicians use tens of thousands of instruments in the $30,000 to $500,000 range,” says Margolis, who founded Cozio.com, which has information on more than 11,000 instruments worldwide. A small fraction of top instruments surface on the market in a given year, adding a rarity premium to their values.

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Beyond the trough of no value, junk becomes valuable

Thursday, 12 February, 2009

The time an everyday object (such as a camera or typewriter) is finally deemed useless and of no worth, to the time it becomes sort after and valued as an antique or collectible, has been dubbed the trough of no value.

For some objects, what pertains would more accurately be called a trough of low value, not no value – remaindered photo books and certain old cameras come to mind – because they never actually quite reach zero value. But other objects might accurately be graphed considerably below the $0 line – those would be things that are worth nothing but that require maintenance, expense, or storage space to keep and preserve.

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Comic book house

Tuesday, 7 October, 2008

Further to yesterday’s link to the plans of the Batcave, come this list of
50 Things That Every Comics Collection Truly Needs.

You just may need to re-mortgage your house to get hold of some these titles…

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