I appreciate your writings on the art market which are always full of invaluable insight. My question is the following: if you had an opportunity to buy a work you love and have been chasing for some years, the owner being willing to sell after saying no for a long time, but demanding a price that is about 40% above market price, would you go ahead or walk away, even if the artist’s dealer had advised you to walk away because of the price?

Dear Claude,

If you always wanted it, and you have the money, buy it! If you are thinking in terms of investment, it all depends if this artist’s market is on the way up, or down, or nowhere. Often an artist’s best (most famous) works are never available on the market, and that market may be on the up and up, then, 40% could be a good deal. Typically the top works sell at a premium to everything else, so, for example, if the market doubles, the best work can go up three times, comfortably. I hope this helps- and so my advice is: Go forth unafraid!

Categorized as Q & A

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