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From Cryptocurrencies To Auctions: Explaining Fundamentals?

From Albert Einstein’s notebooks to a record-breaking Frida Kahlo to a 6.6-million-euro triceratops, auctions have recently witnessed a slew of world-record-breaking artifacts fall under the hammer. Valuations are getting more difficult to assess. The Einstein manuscript sold for 11.3 million euros ($13 million) in Paris on Wednesday, five times its estimated value. 

That happened just days after a storyboard for a failed 1970s film adaptation of “Dune” was released “sparked a bidding war that drove the price to 2.7 million euros, 100 times the valuation. The switch to online sales, according to market researcher Artprice, has sparked unprecedented levels of interest, notably in the United States and Asia. “Auction houses were a long way behind the times. However, Covid forced them to modernize, and as a result, internet sales have soared, attracting a whole new audience “Thierry Ehrmann, the creator of Artprice, remarked.

After a brief halt as the virus spread in 2020, online auctions grew later that year as people looked for new ways to pass the time and spend money during lockdowns. With stock markets booming throughout the epidemic, the wealthy were much wealthier, yet they struggled to spend it. This has aided the old masters in reaching new heights.

A Van Gogh sold for $71.3 million in New York this month, and a Kahlo self-portrait sold for over $35 million, setting a new high for the Mexican artist’s work.

However, it has sparked an interest in nearly anything collectible, from Michael Jordan sneakers ($1.5 million) to an original copy of the United States Constitution ($43 million) to an 800,000-euro bottle of Burgundy wine.

It’s a subject that’s been asked before, particularly in the 1980s, when the art market appeared to be on the verge of boiling as a new generation of yuppies tried to flash their income. Despite a few lulls, such as the financial crisis of 2008 and a severe decline between 2015 and 2019, the main trend has been upward.

The contemporary art market has expanded from $103 million in 2000 to $2.7 billion now, according to Artprice.

“Buying and reselling has become much more natural: to improve one’s collection, after a divorce, or because our preferences have changed,” Ehrmann explained.

According to Deloitte, the ultra-rich own $1.45 trillion in art and collectibles by 2020.

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