Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) -- A Claude Monet painting of his wife Camille reclining in a flower-strewn meadow sold tonight at Christie’s International in London for 11.2 million pounds ($16.2 million) with fees.Twenty years, and nominally one hasn't made a penny!! And the real-term returns would undoubtedly be more negative than -50%, an astronomical difference between even something pedestrian like T-bills. Of course one presumably has had the privilege of Camille Monet's two-dimensional company for the duration which may be some consolation to those prefering Monet to say, Leroy Neimann. Van Gogh's "Dr Gachet" (see post) hardly fared better only coming back into the money 18 years after Daishowa's Saito rang the bell, and then only briefly, for today, Ken Griffin is no longer "bid", and impressionists, while still eye-wateringly expensive for mere mortals, are clearly no longer be the store of value in real terms previously believed.
It was bought by a Paris-based representative of Christie’s, taking instructions over the telephone.
The 2-foot 8-inch wide canvas, dating from 1876, had been estimated by the auction house to fetch 15 million pounds, making it the most valuable estimated work offered in London’s February series of Impressionist and modern art sales. Its final price was less than a bronze version of Degas’s best-known “Little Dancer” sculpture that sold yesterday at Sotheby’s for 13.3 million pounds.
The Monet’s price history reflects historical demand from art collectors. It had last appeared on the auction market in November 1999 at Sotheby’s New York, where it sold for $15.4 million.
In June 1988, at the height of the last art market boom, the painting sold for 14.3 million pounds with fees at Sotheby’s in London.
So yes, price matters. Homes bought in hot markets this decade, tech stocks, EM bonds and stocks bought mid-decade, US Bonds and perhaps Gold bought now, are also reasonable candidates to suffer Dr Gachet's curse.