The Price is Right!

A Sotheby’s auction once again produced record-setting prices, yawn.

“’It’s a new world,’ said Tobias Meyer, the auctioneer conducting Sotheby’s sale of Impressionist and modern art last night, as his hammer pounded the rostrum like a loud exclamation mark. After an intense war between two telephone bidders, a canvas by the Expressionist painter Lyonel Feininger had just sold for $23.2 million, more than two and a half times its high estimate and a record for the artist at auction.”

Carol Vogel. “Driven by International Bidders, Prices Soar at Sotheby’s Sale With No Blockbuster,” New York Times, May 9, 2007.

Is it really a new world, though? How many times can record prices get smashed before it is no longer surprising? Moreover, is this good news? Exciting? Depressing? Certainly all of the above and more, depending on whom you ask.

Posted by: Ian M.


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