More on the Art Market and Brexit

Forbes posted a short article on the impact of the Brexit vote on the end of last weeks London auctions and sales. The article states that the results, although not spectacular or really even good, were expected as the quality level of many lots were suspect. And, with that, less bidding and few dollars/pounds being spent in the sales.  The quality level and not Brexit, according to the article is the culprit.

Forbes reports
After the UK’s shock decision to leave the European Union, the post-war and contemporary auctions in London this week and a sale of four centuries of British art, a celebration of Christie’s 250th anniversary, presented an interesting test for the art market.

No one knew whether international buyers would be encouraged by a weaker pound, which by the time of Christie’s Defining British Art sale on Thursday evening, had fallen 11% against the dollar in a week, or unnerved by the referendum’s broader impact on global markets. It was also impossible to tell whether sellers would still feel comfortable consigning works amid all the uncertainty, particularly those international sellers being paid in sterling.

The total amount of art sold during four key evening sales in at Phillips, Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London this week, including commissions, was just over £203 million ($272 million).

That was considerably below the £257.5 million that sold during the same week last year, even though Christie’s bolstered this week’s tally by selling some modern works, such as a £24.7 million Henry Moore sculpture, in its Defining British Art sale. In a normal year, these works would probably have appeared in the auction house’s Impressionist and modern art sales held the week before.

But lower sales were already expected. Given the weaker conditions in the art market to date in 2016, the auction houses had made it clear that there would be fewer multi-million-pound lots and lower sales totals long before the referendum.
Source: Forbes 

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