Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Medieval Religious Art Finds Growing Niche Market of Collectors

By Scott Reyburn
An alabaster statue of St. Philip, circa 1420-30, sold for £542,500 on Dec. 3 at Sotheby’s. Credit Sotheby’s
UNITED KINGDOM---In today’s collecting culture, if art from a more distant past is to find new buyers, it needs to look good when next to 1960s minimalism or the latest “process based” abstraction. Tribal art and classical antiquities are already well-established “crossover” buys at auctions and art fairs. Now medieval sculpture — three-dimensional works produced in Europe from about 1000 to 1550 — is also gaining a reputation for the sort of timelessness that goes well with a Klein or a Koons, often at a fraction of the price. Most unusually for this niche collecting field, three outstanding medieval objects were sold at auctions in London and Paris this month. [link]