New York auctions heat up


Art connoisseurs in New York have something to rejoice about. They are experiencing Sales soar at New York auctions. Sensing that a heated market may soon reach its peak, collectors have consigned hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of artworks for the November sales at New York’s auction houses. Sotheby’s and Christie’s say the estimated sales totals are the highest in nearly 15 years. Usually it is the so-called 3-D’s – death, divorce and debt – that motivate people to sell at auction. But this fall, in addition to the many millions of dollars that the auction houses are estimating people will pay to get what some in the business call “wall power,” many collectors have simply decided that now is the moment to cash in. While few sellers will acknowledge it, many seem to be asking themselves how much higher prices will go before the bubble bursts. In the most recent round of New York evening sales in May, when prices for postwar and contemporary art far exceeded expectations, have whetted sellers’ eagerness.

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That’s good news as a few percentages still have an eye for art and are eager to splurge.