Spring Newsletter 2018 - Falcon Fine Art
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Spring Newsletter 2018


Spring Newsletter 2018

The US$450 million sale of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi last November demonstrated that the art market is making a strong comeback. In 2017, the global auction market grew by 25% from the previous year. This remarkable turnaround has been underpinned by a robust growth in the Post-War and Contemporary market, as well as the tenacious growth of the Impressionist and Modern market and a welcome return of Old Masters.

As has been the case for a number of years, Chinese and wider Asian markets are playing a critical role in the global art market. Meanwhile, in the UK, strong sales from London’s auction houses resulted in the city’s global art market share increasing from 27% to 30% – despite a range of economic and political concerns.

In the world of art finance, attention continues to focus on the rise of private art collections as well as the number of ultra-high net worth individuals establishing them. The Deloitte/ArtTactic Art & Finance Report 2017 estimated that over US$1.6 trillion of ultra-high net worth wealth was dedicated to art and collectibles in 2017 – a number expected to reach US$2.7 trillion by 2024. Certainly, we anticipate an increase in demand for innovative wealth management strategies, especially those including fine art.

Following Sotheby’s and Christie’s Impressionist and Modern Sales in London last week, Spring is set to be an exciting auction season. The Sotheby’s sale – which included the US$69.2 million sale of Picasso’s 1937 Femme au béret et à la robe quadrille (a portrait of his muse Marie-Thérèse Walter) – comprised of a number of works never before seen on the open market, including André Derain’s Bateaux à Collioure (1905) which sold for US$15 million.

The comparable sale at Christie’s, which included the US$ 19 million sale of Picasso’s impressive Mousquetaire et nu assis, as well as Degas’ Dans le Coulisses (while sold for US$12.7 million), also reaffirmed the strength of the market in 2018. Other gems included Salvador Dali’s pencil portrait of Pablo Picasso, which achieved a more modest US$766,055.

Looking forward, New York’s May sales could well provide some of the year’s highlights. More than 2,000 lots from the highly sought-after Rockefeller collection go under the hammer – with expectations that the sale could raise over US$500 million. The collection includes major works by Matisse, Monet, Gauguin, De Kooning, Picasso, Edward Hopper and Georgia O’Keefe. So, with prices going up, we expect to see continued interest in art financing in the months ahead.

Other Notable Highlights

In the recent auctions:


  • Picasso, Mousquetaire et nu assis achieved $19 million
  • Degas, Dans les Coulisses sold for $12.7 million
  • Kees van Dongen (lot 34) achieved $9.8 million
  • Alberto Giacometti, Lustre avec femme, homme et oiseau achieved $10.5 million
  • Picasso’s Femme au béret (Marie-Therese Walter) achieved $69.2 million
  • Derain’s Bateaux à Collioure sold for US$15 million
  • A painting by Joan Miro (lot 123) sold for $5 million (surpassing estimations of $2.7 to $4.1)
  • Key sales were also seen from Max Ernst, Dali and René Magritte


Upcoming events

As a key event in the art world calendar, we are particularly looking forward to attending TEFAF in Maastricht next week. In its 31st edition, the event will exhibit over 280 of the world’s leading galleries and dealers, including over 4,000 artists. Highlights will include paintings and works of art from ancient Mesopotamia to classic Modernism.
And before heading to Maastricht, collectors are again gathering in numbers in London this week for an exciting Post-War and Contemporary sale season. Works will include many of the most important artists and pieces of the past half-century, including Lucio Fontana’s largest work on canvas, which is expected to fetch US$11 to 16.5 million, as well as a rare work from Jackson Pollock dated to 1950, expected to achieve around US$20 million. The sales will also feature sought-after artists including Francis Bacon, Peter Doig, Gerhard Richter and Andy Warhol.

What’s on

The current blockbuster exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, Charles I: King and Collector, reunites a legendary collection. King Charles I was a discerning and knowledgeable connoisseur who, over many years, acquired numerous masterpieces by some of the greatest artists, such as Titian, Mantegna, Holbein and Dürer, as well as commissioning magnificent works by Rubens and Van Dyck. His reign, however, ended in disaster, with the country torn apart by Civil War, culminating with the King’s execution in 1649.

Following these events Charles’ collection was sold off, much of it going abroad. While his son, Charles II, was able to retrieve some works after the Restoration of 1660, most of the collection has remained dispersed and this is the first time that over 100 works formerly owned by the King have been reunited. The exhibition runs until 15th April and is an occasion not to be missed.