When Buyers Lack Perspective

The sales this week of Impressionist and Modern art forcefully brought out the dangers that arise in the market when the sense of aesthetic hierarchy vanishes because relevant points of comparison become too scarce.

In seeming paradox, Sotheby’s sales on Tuesday and Wednesday — which represented a time capsule and briefly created the illusion that abundance was back — illustrated the erratic price patterns that develop when buyers lack perspective.

Those who have entered the market in recent years or are now coming into it take catalog entries for granted, including the praise poured on the works, and the estimated price brackets, forgetting that auction-house agents or dealers rarely tell you how poor some of the goods they offer for sale happen to be.

It was that lack of

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/11/arts/11iht-melikian11.html?pagewanted=all

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