Posted by Steve Price on June 15, 1999 at 08:21:27:
In Reply to: Re: Mistakes: Too Few to Mention? posted by Yon Bard on June 14, 1999 at 11:43:04:
Whether the prices realized at the Thompson sale were outrageous or just somewhat high depends on your definition of "outrageous". I think most people would agree that Sotheby's estimates were pretty much what they would have been if the pieces did not have the Thompson provenance. Here are some statistics, you can decide how inflated the selling prices were:
1. Typically, Sotheby's sales have about 40% of the pieces either unsold or sold below the low estimate. Of the 81 Thompson pieces, 1 was unsold and 1 sold below the low estimate. Of the other 82 collectible pieces offered at the same sale, 41 were unsold or sold below the low estimate.
2. Sotheby's usually has about 20% of the pieces sell for more than the high estimate. Of the 81 Thompson pieces, 51 (63%) sold for more than the high estimate. Of the other 82 collectibles at the same sale, 16 (20%) sold for more than the high estimate.
Thus, except for the 81 items from Jon Thompson's collection the sale went more or less according to custom.
I don't think a dealer can logically justify high prices from the Thompson collection selling prices, although some might try to do so. It is clear that the prices were applicable only to pieces with the Thompson provenance (or, perhaps, also to other comparable provenances) and not to the market in general.
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