Guarantees Follow Market, Not Other Way Around
Fine Art

Guarantees Follow Market, Not Other Way Around

There is one other frequently cited connection between the art market and auction house guarantees that ought to be addressed. That’s the common refrain published recently that 2016 auctions will be down because guarantees have been removed by and large from the marketplace. That kind of post hoc propter hoc thinking is central to the confusion over guarantees. Rather than the market falling because of auction house restraint, it is the prospect of weak market that causes guarantors to pull back. This isn’t intellectual speculation or argumentation. We have some pretty straightforward evidence from Sotheby’s former CEO Bill Ruprecht. Here’s what Ruprecht said to the New York Times in the aftermath of the Fall 2008 art market crash caused by the wider global credit crisis: “We’re preparing for a different market. We are out of the guarantee business at least for a while. It’s too hard to predict what tomorrow looks like.” Ruprecht said that late 2008 when it was obvious the art market was going to be very, very different for some time to come. But that wasn’t the first time Ruprecht swore off guarantees in 2008. The story of that year offers some interesting insight into how […]

Tags

OrangeniusInc Tweets