Antique and art markets - History of Business in the U.S.
Definition: Markets in which furniture and housewares older than one hundred years and items of artistic value, such as paintings, sculpture, prints, and drawings, are sold
Significance: The markets for art and antiques have satisfied both consumers’ quest for elaborate furnishings and decorative objects to add beauty and status to their lives and people’s desire to invest in objects that are likely to appreciate, largely independent of fluctuations in the stock market.
Antiques and art are sometimes grouped into the same market not only because they are often sold together but also because these objects depend on subjective appeal and social acceptance to determine their value in the marketplace. Antiques, which include many objects such as domestic items and furniture, derive their value primarily from their age and condition, rarity, and the items’ beauty or craftsmanship. Art, in the context of antique and art markets, most often refers to the visual arts, including painting, sculpture, and printmaking. The appreciation and collection of both antiques and art are considered to be an indicator of status in many societies, including that of the United States.
Selected Prices from a 2008 Christie’s Sale of Impressionist and Modern Art
|Work Title||Artist||Form of Art||Price ($ millions)|
|The Railroad Bridge at Argenteuil||Monet||painting||41.4|
|Standing Woman II||Giacometti||bronze||27.4|
|Portrait with a Blue Coat||Matisse||painting||22.4|
|Eve, the Large Version||Rodin||bronze||18.9|
|Caress of the Stars||Miró||painting||17.0|
|City Square II||Giacometti||sculpture||14.6|
|Family Group||Henry Moore||bronze||4.0|
|Working Model for Reclining Figure: Angles||Henry Moore||sculpture||3.2|
Source: Data from Carol Vogel, “Monet and Rodin Set Price Records at Christie’s,” The New York Times, May 7, 2008
Note: The Monet painting was purchased in 1988 for $12.6 million, and the Miró painting had sold for $11.7 million in 2004.
- Luecke, Marjorie Ann. The International Antiques Market: A Guide for Collectors and Investors. South Brunswick, N.J.: A. S. Barnes, 1979. Provides an overview of the various categories of antiques, including price guides with projected price trends.
- McAndrew, Clare. The Art Economy: An Investor’s Guide to the Art Market. Dublin: Liffey Press, 2007. An interesting overview of the global art market from the point of view of an investor; discusses the value of art as a financial investment with comparisons of the returns on art investment in comparison with those on stocks and other assets.
- McNulty, Tom. Art Market Research: A Guide to Methods and Sources. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2006. Provides an introduction to the art market, including information about artwork analysis and valuation. Also includes a list of pertinent periodicals and auction houses.
- Parker, Philip M. The 2007 Import and Export Market for Antiques Over One Hundred Years Old in the United States. San Diego, Calif.: ICON Group International, 2006. An overview of the global antique market with a focus on the United States market, providing estimated figures for the volume of imports and exports per country and by region, providing a comparison of the United States market with other major country markets.
- Robertson, Iain. Understanding International Art Markets and Management. New York: Routledge, 2005. An overview of the international art market, including a discussion of the reasons that the market is dominated by the United States and Western Europe.