Market Report Summer/ Autumn 2022

29th - 30th Jul 2022

Summer/ Autumn Report 2022

High Inflation not seen since the 1970's could give a much needed boost to British pictures in the coming months.

A lot has happened since I last wrote about the Art market at the beginning of 2020. Few would have predicted that the Covid 19 pandemic would have such a paralysing effect on world trade and the buying and selling of British Art. All the Fairs and viewings were cancelled and even as I write now they have not properly returned. Yes online auctions and catalogues have sprung up in an attempt to stimulate sales but this has mainly brought success at the lower end of the market. Sotheby's and Christie's have joined in on the online trend but prices achieved have been pretty poor for vendors . There is no substitute for giving confidence to a purchaser than to view a picture properly and in person. Photographs do not tell the whole story.

The market for English watercolours and British pictures in my opinion is at a historical low but when the market turns it will react surprisingly quickly . History seems to be repeating itself,it was the oil crisis in 1970's that created a world energy shortage and sparked inflation under Ted Heath's government. I was starting my career in the picture market with my father at that time and the demand increased rapidly for British watercolours throughout the 1970's and 80's .

People argue tastes have changed in the younger generations since the 80's. That may be true, but I believe early English Watercolours are intrinsically beautiful. People all round the world always seem to respond to beautiful things and in many cases these pictures are a historical record of life on these Islands in former times. It is for these two reasons alone that I believe that they will make a revival in the not so distant future. Inflationary periods in the 50's and 60's and in the 1970's and 80's all saw marked increase in the demand for traditional British Art. Although pictures do not pay a dividend they give pleasure on your wall and they have constantly proved a good hedge against inflation. They are usually debt free which is rare in these times of high consumer debt across the board . They are a portable store of wealth that can be passed on to the next generation as a legitimate gift.

John Spink - Summer/ Autumn 2022

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