Art Auctions Bet on Russian Billionaires
Historically, Russians have been reliable buyers of their own culture's works, with William MacDougall noting to Bloomberg that classical nineteenth century paintings leading the charge and early twentieth century pieces showing promise.
And, there's hope from an economic perspective:
Last year, the four auctions were good for only 29.1 million pounds, down 50 percent from the same week in 2008. Prospects look far better for 2010. Sotheby's has 615 lots, one of which may go for 1.5 million pounds, and Christie's has more than 550 lots with a total top-end estimate of more than 11 million pounds."Russia's economy is clearly in recovery and oil prices are up," William MacDougall, co-director of MacDougall's, said in an interview. "The main dark cloud is the Greek debt crisis. While it raises problems for euro-denominated assets, it should be good for fine art, which is a safe haven."