The increase in art market liquidity is due in part to the return of guaranteed minimum pricing, in which the auction houses assume some sales risk for attractive or desirable pieces that they feel can beat the numbers and attract buyers and sellers of other strong works. According to ArtPrice, there are "tens of millions of dollars for major works" committed via guaranteed minimum pricing, indicating that confidence is up.
It's the price guarantees that have led to the arrival of some strong pieces at the early may auctions this year, including pieces from the collections of Mrs Sidney Francis Brody, Raymond and Miriam Klein, Bernard Goldberg and Michael Crichton. Brody's works alone could fetch up to $150 million. The high estimate for Christie's is $300 million, a target that doesn't include the top lot, "Nude, Green Leaves" by Pablo Picasso, which as Jared Paul Stern revealed in a recent column is expected to bring in as much as $90 million. Other artists with eight-figure estimates include Henri Matisse, and Alberto Giacometti.
Don't just look for good news – also a expect a few records to b set. Sotheby's has high hopes for pieces by Salvador Dali and Auguste Rodin.