Before I get started with something new, I must finish up with my trip back home and report my success or the lack of it to you. The grand ending was when a lady backed into the side of our car that is only a few months old and Vickie and I had to convince ourselves that the car is just an object that could be repaired. We both knew the other was lying but it was the only way we could keep a stiff upper lip.
Even at the Sohn's auction, there seemed to be a lack of quality items being sold, although the offerings were going cheap. I had no success at buying there or the other places that I stopped at but I still questioned everyone I came into contact with about the condition of the Antique and Fine Art business. To my surprise, it was unanimous that things were slow but there was still the opportunity to make money if you dealt in the right items. I am sure your question was the same as mine. What are those items?
Without exception the answer was art and most of the success stories I heard pertained to paintings that people had found where they had very little information on the artist until they did their research. The typical story went something like this, "I was searching through the garage sale when I spotted this painting that I really didn't like much but I knew it was original so I bought it. Since the price was just $50 what did I have to lose? After getting home I searched Davenport's guide and lo and behold there was the artist's name. Was I lucky or what? The best part was then when I went to Askart and the artist's paintings listed from $5000 and up." This made me begin to think about my successes over the last two years and guess what, art is also where I have made most of my money during that time.
Yes my guess would be that over 75% of the profit I have been fortunate enough to make has come from paintings and most of my finds have come from unexpected sources. Remember my last blog where I stated that we should get back to basics? What would be more basic than to spend our time in ways that make us the most money? At the present time paintings are where it's at so I am recommending you spend your time researching artists and looking in every known location that a painting may reside that could turn you a handsome profit. The art world is still the most mysterious area of collecting that I know of and few people are knowledgeable about what art is truly worth. This gives you a huge advantage against your competition when it comes to finding paintings that are worth while.
During these slower times it is necessary for us as dealers to focus on few things but be more informed on those items than most of our competition. This will spell success for us when others are struggling.