Prices for paintings have sometimes evolved tremendously during the past three decades in relation to results recorded at auction for major artists thirty or thirty five years ago.
The overall evolution is significant though not spectacular as prices have been analysed in parallel with the average growth in standard living estimated to have been multiplied by ten since 1970.
As a result bids fetched for certain works during the 1960s and early 1970s tend to show that not everything has followed the upward trend spectacularly, notably watercolours by Vlaminck, Cross, Herbin or Utrillo and oils by Lucie Cousturier, Paul Madeline, Pierre Laprade or Albert Lebourg.
We have analysed prices recorded in two sales in Versailles, west of Paris, on June 9th 1971 and June 2nd and 3rd 1965, which included several major paintings and watercolours produced by some modern art masters. Such analysis thus gives a most interesting insight on the development of the art market and shows that good works are becoming more and more expensive due to the fact that they are harder to find. Buyers in 1965 and 1971 did not know how lucky they were to acquire fine pieces at reasonable prices...
All prices listed in this article did not include a buyer's premium of some 13,6%.
Results of 1971:
Anquetin Louis (French) (1861-1932): «Portrait of Toulouse-Lautrec», around 1885-1890, oil on canvas, 41 x 32.5 cm: 11 000 FF (US $ 1527). Probable price today: Between $ 25,000 and 35,000. Up ++
«Portrait of a woman assumed to be La Goulue», oil on canvas, 37 x 27 cm: 3900 FF (US $ 541). Probable price today: Between $ 5,000 and 8,000. Even.
Bonnard Pierre (French) (1867-1947) : «Maison de Missia Sert, A Grasse, 1912», oil on canvas, 81 x 123 cm: 155 000 FF (US $ 21,525). Probable price today: Between $ 280,000 and 370,000. Up
Boudin Eugène (French) (1824-1898): «Green Mill in Dordrecht», oil on canvas,
1875, 54 x 74 cm: 150 000 FF
(US $ 20,830). Probable price today:
Between $ 95,000 and 125,000. Down