Tues. November 17,2009. Herald . Ireland.
COLLECTORS are back in the market for art after prices plummeted during the recession.
An auction house said investors are taking home pieces of Irish art for amounts paid back in 2001.
James O’Halloran, managing director of James Adam and Sons, revealed that the market peaked in 2007 with sales in excess of €50m. The estimated value of sales this year has dropped to €10m.
“We are seeing a return to the market of collectors. People who know and understand art, have researched the artist and are investing for the long term,” said Mr O’Halloran. “Many collectors bailed out during the peak of the market and are returning now that there is value to be had.”
Mr O’Halloran said that at the height of the boom many people spent a lot of money without fully knowing what they were buying.
“Those same people would not buy a car without having it checked out and neither would they have invested 20,000 euro in stocks and shares on a whim. But that is what happened in the art market,” he continued.
“For the art buyer who is serious about long-term investment in art, there is no choice but to learn about art,” he said.
The best sellers among Ireland’s living artists are Louis Le Broquy and Sean Scully, while Sir John Lavery, Walter Osbourne and Gerard Dillon topped the sales for the dead.