Art auction shows uniqueness is a unique selling point

Isaac Mostovicz writes that those who can afford true luxury will continue to seek it in today’s economic climate...

Earlier this week, Pierre Bergé, partner of the late Yves Saint Laurent, put the pair’s large collection of art up for auction at Christie’s. The results were stunning in today’s economic climate–the works took in $264 million. It’s a good reminder that despite the recession, there are still plenty of wealthy people willing to spend on rare things that they interpret as truly luxurious. The Matisse paintings fetched a great deal in particular, because, as the New York Times notes

Few Matisse paintings of quality come on the market, and each of the three Matisse paintings did better than its estimates.

A Picasso was pulled from the auction when bidding stopped at 21 million euros, less than the 25-30 million euro range expected. Said Isabelle de Wavrin, deputy editor of BeauxArts magazine:

Picassos are not rare. But everyone is looking for a good Matisse.

Those who can afford true luxury will continue to seek it in today’s economic climate–luxury is what makes us human. Those who sell luxury need to ensure that what they’re offering is truly unique.

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