Auction Update Review
On a cautious note 2010 is coming to life. Six auctions were archived this week, evidence that the drumbeat of auction hammers has begun to resonate where books change hands based on the impetuousness and or cunning of bidders.
So many issues in the book trade today are up in the air that the regularity and certainty of the auction rooms may, before the year is out, loom larger in the plans of both consignors and buyers.
As will be reported in AE Monthly in a few weeks the business has been spotty, very good for some and very bad for others. What drives the business and makes the trade practical is the expectation of consistent cash flow. This year the decline in 2008 and the meandering market in 2009 should give way to substantial evidence about where the market is going. Where this is remains to be determined.
It is already apparent that quality will dominate all categories of collecting, the standards going higher, the prices of the very good rising, the prices of lesser examples declining.
In this new world independent standards will probably emerge. In short, it will be the book business but probably quite different from the field many joined twenty years ago.
January 17, 2010