Collecting art has been a passion of wealthy individuals and families for centuries but there are many different levels at which you can enter the art market. Interesting collections can be curated on lesser budgets with emerging artists or with less familiar names but from an investment perspective this can be higher risk.More »

We monitor the market continuously and can provide you with the latest reports by specialist arts economists. If you are looking to borrow against internationally marketable artworks of high value or use art as collateral to create liquidity in order to add to your collection or for other investment purposes, we can put you in touch with the best financial advisors with whom we collaborate.

What affects value?

Here are some things to consider when collecting art:

PROFILE OF THE ARTIST such as exhibition history or representation in public collections.
RARITY will increase value, a known deceased artist with a small output is likely to be desirable.
AUTHENTICITY It goes without saying that authenticity is of paramount importance but in addition some artists require specialist authentication by a designated expert who holds an established catalogue raisonne (official record of the artist’s output).
FASHION is a big factor and it is often hard to predict where it will go next. Post War and Contemporary is currently the most popular collecting sector but there are also more focussed trends within it for example artwork by young black female artists is currently desirable.More »

Helena Newman, Sotheby's London ©Michael Bowles/Getty Images

Golden Rules

Buy from reputable gallery or use an art consultant.

If buying at auction look carefully at the catalogue description and know the terminology “after Warhol”, “school of Warhol” “follower of Warhol”. Read the T&C’s and remember to account for buyers’ premium 25% on top of the hammer price.

If buying contemporary, take a look at the artist’s biography, exhibition history and if the artist is in any public collections or has an international standing.

If buying older pieces look at the artist’s track record studying past prices on secondary market. Make sure you are comparing like for like in terms of size, medium, condition and provenance.

The London Art Fair

So what to buy?

Firstly, buy what you love and feel passionately about.

It helps to identify a period or genre and to read up about that particular area because the market is so broad. Then you might decide to collect one artist or artists from a particular artistic movement or a particular geographical area.

Once you have decided upon your area, take some time to observe and research the market.

Consider our check list before settling on a particular painting.

Art is an emotional and subjective subject and unless investment is your primary focus it is likely to be an emotional decision but you can still make sure it is an informed emotional response.

Market Trends

*Data from 2022 published in 2023 art market report

Global art sales increased by 3% year-on-year by value to an estimated $67.8 billion, bringing the art market in 2022 higher than its pre-pandemic level in 2019.

The high end of the market continued to be the driver of growth in 2022. Sales in the public auction sector dipped with works priced at over $10 million being the only segment to increase in value.More »

Market share by sector of fine art auction market in 2022 (by value of sales) from Arts Economics 2023 with data from Artory

Collectors continue to favour the Post-War and Contemporary sector which represents 54% for the market by value, followed by Modern (22%) and Impressionist and Post Impressionist (18%).

As exhibitions, auctions, and fairs all ran on fuller schedules post pandemic and collectors began to re-engage with live events and sales, both dealers and auction houses reported a further reduction in their share of e-commerce in 2022.More »

Outlook for the Market

The report reveals the general outlook for the market to be positive. At the end of 2022, looking forward to 2023, 45% of dealers expected an improvement in sales, including 10% predicting a significant improvement.

In the auction sector, just under half of respondents were optimistic for an improvement in sales in 2023, although 24% predicted a downturn. Confirming the ongoing importance of digital sales in this sector, 60% expected their online sales to increase.More »