There's No Such Thing As A Free Lunch

 

While many were getting away from it all on holiday this summer, the auctions were still percolating. Up for grabs this summer? How about lunch with Warren Buffet, a bag of moon dust, or Monet’s La Seine et les côteaux de Chantemesle?

So which of these treasures realized the highest price? Lock in your vote.

The winner was lunch with Warren Buffet. A bidder pledged $2,680,000 to a San Francisco charity in exchange for a lunch date with the oracle from Omaha.

Running second was the Monet, which sold at Christie’s for 1,805,000 GBP, or about $2,325,000.

Third in this imaginary race, but still turning in a strong performance, was a bag of moon dust, selling at Sotheby’s for a mere $1,812,500.

Feel free to amaze your friends with this trivia while grilling out this Labor Day holiday. And tell them you learned it from me!

So what’s the takeaway here? All markets operate on the basic principle of supply and demand. Even though Mr. Buffet probably has lunch every day, he doesn’t have it with you. That opportunity is rare. Bag of moon dust? I have to imagine there aren’t many of those on this planet. And the Monet. Even though there are more Monet paintings than moon dust bags, there are still a finite number, no more are being made (at least no more authentic ones) and there is a strong demand.

Also keep in mind, however, unlike some other markets, auctions results do not always reflect true demand, or even true supply. There may have been only two people bidding on moon dust (auction bidding generally comes down to only two bidders) from $250,000 up. Now that one has his bag, the next bag that turns up may go for much less. Of course, the price could also embolden moon-dust enthusiasts to really go for it next time, and drive the price even higher. Then again, SpaceX plans to send two passengers to the moon next year, so by 2028 maybe we can all buy a bag of moon dust in our local convenience store.

Oh, one more takeaway...the auction house matters. The seller of the moon dust bought it for $955 in 2015....at auction. 

I don’t know about moon dust, but I do know about art. If you’d like help navigating the market this fall, simply send me an email and let’s start the conversation.


Links to results:

Warren Buffet
Monet
Moon Dust

To learn more about the art market, be sure to subscribe to the Kendall Art Advisory newsletter by scrolling to the bottom of kendallartadvisory.com.

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