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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Investors Zoom in on Photography

Despite record prices for photographs at this year's auctions, it is still cheaper to corner the market in Leibovitz than Lichtenstein. Here's how to get started.

By Stephen Milioti, Fortune magazine

If you had wandered into the New York location of Christie's auction house in 1996, you could have purchased a print of Helmut Newton's "Two Pairs of Legs in Black Stockings, Paris" for about $2,300.

Left: Sarah Hasted at her Chelsea gallery. Photo by Zubin Shroff.

Then you could have spent the next decade eating, sleeping or lounging beneath the image of two models wearing only black lingerie and black spiky heels.

Had you decided to sell that 1979 photograph at Christie's for $38,400 (as its owner did last month), you would have enjoyed better price appreciation than a comparable investment in an S 500 index fund, General Electric stock, or ten-year Treasury bonds. And Newton isn't the only photographer whose prices are on the rise....




Blogger Richard Sintchak said...

Always interesting and fun comparison of what we "shoulda, coulda, woulda" but of course most of us didn't-a. The key question here is how many of the other photographer's photos available around that time for $2300 are now worth as much? If the answer is most, then wow, what an easy investment that would have been. Perhaps we should be snapping up $2300 photographs now? I wonder, not knowing much about that part of the photography art world, what is the comparison in terms of number of photographers selling their work at these levels now vs. then, what percentage of "top" photographer's 10 years ago have work worth significant amounts now (or, as I suspect, might be worth less), etc.

10:37 AM  
Blogger ~rick said...

More power to print owner for selling. Just like real estate, you very seldom pay too much, and in the long run, we can always talk about how affordable it was. ~rick

11:09 PM  

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