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Digital Subscriptions > Antiques Trade Gazette > 2310 > Altered States

Altered States

In a market subject to the vagaries of collecting fashion, success is hard-earned for America’s leading regional salerooms. Roland Arkell reports

The regional market

A battle-scarred Omaha Beach landing craft flag sold by Heritage in Dallas for $55,000 (£41,250) on June 11.
This miniature 3in (7.5cm) sheet metal and brass wire standing mobile by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) was commissioned from the artist c.1953 and came, by family descent, to the current owner. At Skinner in Boston on May 19, it took $220,000 (£165,000).

A decade ago the US auction business was still riding the wave of the Americana boom and tasting the first fruits of the internet selling revolution. Chinese works of art were ‘the next big thing’.

But today, in President Trump’s disunited states, the art and antiques trade is facing down issues familiar to an Old World audience.

The US remains the world’s single biggest art market, generating 40% of all global sales, according to the 2017 Art Basel and UBS Art Market Report. But outside the Manhattan bubble of contemporary art and blinging jewels and wristwatches, success is hard-earned.

“The market is ever changing but there are constants,” says Karen Keane, CEO at Skinner in Boston and Marlborough, Massachusetts. “Across all disciplines, the middle and lower end has been sluggish and there is really no change there. Overall you need to sell more to stand still.”

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About Antiques Trade Gazette

Published every week since 1971, Antiques Trade Gazette is affectionately known as ‘the Bible of the antiques trade’. A long tradition of authority, integrity and accuracy, makes it the essential read for everyone who loves antiques. With a subscription to Antiques Trade Gazette, you’ll stay ahead of all the developments in the art and antiques market, plus you’ll enjoy • A comprehensive auction calendar – see when and where every sale will be happening • Exclusive interviews with dealers, giving you the inside track on the trade • Breaking news on key industry developments • Secrets, stories and tips from leading specialists and collectors • Top lots advertised by auctioneers • Previews of the best art and antiques fairs and markets • Special supplements focusing on specific collecting areas

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