Celebrity Premium

 Lindsay Pollock has a good article in Businessweek on "value inflation" when buying celebrity owned art.  She makes reference to art once owned by comedian Steve Martin, actor Mel Gibson, the YSL sale, actor Dennis Hopper and even those associated with celebrity such as Jerry Hall, model and ex-wife of Mick Jagger.  Part of the rationale is that collectors wish to own a part of a celebrated collection as well as strong interest from a celebrity based culture.  As appraisers are always looking for the impact of provenance and celebrity on values and prices, this is a good article as it points out the existence of celebrity ownership on property.

Pollock reports

This helps explain why auction houses duke it out for the right to handle celebrity offloadings. "There's no question that a famous name has an impact," says Sotheby's Vice-Chairman David Redden. "It's a pretty powerful factor in prices." The star factor was involved in Christie's 1994 sale of Barbra Streisand's collection, which amassed a $6.2 million yield—nearly $2 million above the presale estimate for Babs' art nouveau tchotchkes and deco Tiffany lamps. Last year, during the financial crunch, Christie's hosted one of the most successful celebrity sales of all time: a $443 million extravaganza from fashion trailblazer Yves Saint Laurent's estate. Even works owned by Mick Jagger's ex-wife Jerry Hall generated a premium in October when Sotheby's hammered down her collection for $3.98 million, surpassing the $2.4 million estimate. The power of celebrity is such that during its 1996 Jackie Kennedy Onassis sale, Sotheby's actually sold 100,000 copies of the auction program—and orchestrated an admission lottery to view the preview sale.

Click HERE to read the Bloomberg article.

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