Auction Update Review
For the week ending March 20th four auctions were archived on the Americana Exchange, two denominated in dollars and two in Euros. Seventy-nine percent of all lots sold, continuing the pattern of strengthening sales as measured by percent sold. Under 70%, if persistent is a sign of declining market, above 80% suggests robust bidding. Over the past ten years the market has hovered in the 70s.
The combined low estimate for these four sales conducted at Swann in New York, Leslie Hindman in Chicago and two at the Romantic Agony in Brussels, was $925,107, the combined high estimate $1,352,095, the combined realization $1,757,394. Of 2,260 lots offered 1,785 changed hands. The average price realized was $985.
Of particular interest was the middle market nature of the material offered in these sales. There has been continuing evidence of strength at the top of the market and concurrent suspicion about the "less than iconic" segment. Prices in the middle market continue to be lower but the relatively high percentage of lots sold in these sales signal substantial interest in the auction rooms when the material and estimates are right.
The Swann sale was interesting for the wide range of obscure material offered. Four hundred and thirty-six lots were offered and 363 sold. One hundred and eighty-nine of them changed hands at less than $500, an appealing entry point for collectors and an indication that Swann is setting estimates low. Such estimates deserve buyer consideration.
21 March 2010