105 Works

\"Invaluable Masterpieces\": The Price of Art at the Musée Napoléon

Bénédicte Savoy
In 1810, the French state embarked on a project to systematically register all artworks that had been confiscated since the revolution inside and outside France and declared national property. The extent of the collections of this highly heterogeneous group of objects now accumulated in the French museums since 1793 and the almost entire absence of any prior catalogues certainly presented a challenge. The result leads us to the intersection between art and economic history, where...

Art Price Economics in the Netherlands during World War II

Jeroen Euwe & Kim Oosterlinck
This paper analyses the boom on the Dutch art market during World War II. It relies on an original database covering all pictures - over 11,000 - sold at Mak van Waay, one of the two premier Dutch auction houses during the occupation. Hedonic regressions show that in real terms, the price of paintings increased more than fivefold between 1940 and 1945. While there was significant demand for Old Masters by the German occupying forces,...

Bert De Munck and Dries Lyna, eds., Concepts of Value in European Material Culture, 1500–1900

Barbara Pezzini
Bert De Munck and Dries Lyna, eds., Concepts of Value in European Material Culture, 1500–1900 (Farnham and Burlington: Ashgate, 2015), 304 pages, ISBN: 9781472451965.


Bénédicte Savoy, Johannes Nathan & Dorothee Wimmer
Editorial of Journal for Art market Studies Vol. 1, No. 2

The Looting of the Winter Palace in Peking in 1900-1901

Niklas Leverenz
An anti-foreign and anti-Christian uprising began in northern China in 1899, dubbed the “Boxer Rebellion” by the foreign powers that subsequently invaded China. In the course of events, troops of the Eight-Nation Alliance began to arrive in Beijing in August 1900 and occupied the city. During this time countless works of art were looted and many of these were subsequently traded on the international art market. A significant number of these were originally housed in...

Art Historical and Provenance Research in a Case Study of Huangchao Liqi Tushi

Haoyang Zhao
Using an illustrated album of the Qing im­perial court of the eighteenth century as a case study, the article explores the specific challenges presented for provenance re­search by this type of object, as well as the reciprocal benefits of interlinking research in provenance with that of traditional art history. The Huangchao Liqi Tushi, or the Illustrations of Imperial Ritual Parapher­nalia, is an illustrated encyclopedic album of Qing imperial regulations and codes. The album discussed here...

Modern Art Galleries in Paris and Berlin c.1890-1933: types, policies and modes of display

Malcolm Gee
This article discusses the character of commercial galleries engaged in the promotion of contemporary art in Paris and Berlin during a crucial period, which began with the consolidation of exhibition networks diffusing ‘independent’ art’ at the end of the nineteenth century, and ended with the economic crisis of the 1930s and the Nazi takeover of power in Germany. It examines the types of spaces occupied by these galleries, and their location; the modes of presentation...


Susanne Meyer-Abich
Editorial vol. 3, no. 1

Finance, Taxes and Provenance: A German Museum Acquisition of Chinese Antiquities in 1935

Ilse Von Zur Mühlen
Research for this article was initially prompted by a restitution claim for several early Chinese objects, which had been acquired by the Bavarian State Ethnological Museum, now Museum Fünf Kontinente in Munich, at two sales in the Berlin auction house of the Jewish art dealer Paul Graupe in 1935. The title of the auction catalogue explained the circumstances of the forthcoming sale. The stock of the firm Dr. Otto Burchard & Co, Berlin was to...

Guest Editorial

Gilbert Lupfer
Guest Editorial for JAMS 3 (2018)

Beyond Murillo: New Data-Driven Research on the Painting Market in Early Modern Seville

Felipe Álvarez De Toledo López-Herrera
While data-driven research has outlined the development of early modern art markets in Europe, the Iberian peninsula remains a lacuna in our knowledge. Seville fulfilled all the necessary prerequisites to support a sophisticated art trade. In the 16thand early 17thcenturies, it was a large metropolis of over 100,000 inhabitants, with a growing merchant class and access to foreign markets due to its role as port to the Indies. Yet its market for paintings remains understudied....

Violence, Globalization and the Trade in \"ethnographic\" Artefacts in nineteenth-century Sudan

Zoe Cormack
This article explores the links between African artefacts in European museum collections and the slave and ivory trade in Sudan in the nineteenth century. It examines how ‘ethnographic’ collections were acquired from southern Sudan and how this process was entangled with the expansion of predatory commerce. Presenting evidence from contemporary travel accounts, museum archives and from the examination of objects themselves, I argue that the nineteenth-century trade in artefacts from South Sudan was inseparable from...

Africa: Trade, Traffic, Collections

Felicity Bodenstein
Introduction to the issue

Marketing favours: Formal and informal criteria for pricing Albrecht Dürer‘s works between 1500 and 1650

Anja Grebe
From an economical point of view, Albrecht Dürer was one of the most successful artists of his time. However, there was never a single market or price system for Dürer’s works, be it during his lifetime or posthumously. While the artist was alive, pricing his works was not governed by a standard set of more or less ‘objective’ or quantifiable criteria. Instead, each price was a matter of negotiation. The main differences were between the...

The Hôtel Drouot as the stock exchange for art. Financialization of art auctions in the nineteenth century

Lukas Fuchsgruber
Throughout historic developments, the publicly ascertained and published price of an artwork repeatedly served as a reference point for art theoretical discussion. Particular importance was attached to the auction sale price, since this financial evaluation of art was of such a public nature. While there is a long history of these ideas about the pricing of art, there are notable times of transition, one of which can be identified in France in the middle of...

On the price of priceless goods. Sociological Observations on and around Art Basel

Franz Schultheis
Today’s public discourse on art revolves around the price of these priceless goods and numbers function as ciphers for the collective representations of art and its status in late capitalist society. Highly contrary assessments as to how the prices for these goods can be found, depending on the perspective taken. While it may seem that optimal transparency exists with regard to the market and the setting of prices, thanks to commercial databases readily available to...

Reflections on Provenance Research: Values – Politics – Art Markets

Johannes Gramlich
Since the turn of the last century provenance research has developed and become professionalized in Europe and the United States as a field that enquires into the ownership history of art and cultural assets during the National Socialist period. While for considerable time the field received little acknowledgement by university faculties such as art history and historical science, provenance research is currently about to become – at least for the moment – institutionalized as an...


Susanne Meyer-Abich
Editorial Vol. 1, No. 3

Conference Report: The Art Fair

Helene Bosecker & Susanne Meyer-Abich
Conference Report of the TIAMSA conference "The Art Fair", London, July 2017

An Art World Insider: Austen Henry Layard and the Nineteenth-Century European Art Trade

Cecilia Riva
In the lively context of the European art market of mid-nineteenth century, Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) played an active role both as a private collector and advisor, and equally as a trustee and unofficial travelling agent for London museums. Thanks to his extensive travels throughout Europe and the Middle East, he became acquainted with the most eminent figures of the art world and was able to purchase a great assortment of art objects, ranging from...

The vanishing paths of African artefacts: Mapping the Parisian auction market for \"primitive\" objects in the interwar period

Léa Saint-Raymond & Elodie Vaudry
During the colonial conquests, the arrival of African objects on the European continent took place in a situation of asymmetry of military and economic power. To reconstruct the memory of these artifacts, it is essential to consider their circulation paths. While provenance researchers are familiar with looting and “exploration” missions, the commercial circuits are still poorly documented as a whole, due to the lack of account books and archives. There is a document, however, that...

Contrived Resemblance: Delaroche and Napoleon

Lisa Hackmann
Several contemporaries highlighted the physical resemblance between Delaroche and Napoleon, of which Delaroche appears to have been acutely conscious. The way the painter’s identification with the French emperor has been understood in academic research bears the clear hallmark of biographically psychologising interpretations. This article proposes an alternative way of interpreting this staged similarity between Delaroche and Napoleon. This interpretation derives firstly from an observation of the drastic change in the artist’s professional circumstances that took...

Genesis of an Auction Sale Category: Sotheby's Inaugural Auction of 'Contemporary Chinese Art'

Anita Archer
On 31 October 2004, Sotheby’s conducted an auction in Hong Kong under a new category entitled ‘Contemporary Chinese Art’. This was not the first time that either of the multinational auction houses had included contemporary Chinese art in their auction offerings; however, in the decade leading up to this auction, contemporary Chinese art was primarily included in the broader sale category titled Modern and Contemporary Chinese Paintings. By late 2004, Henry Howard-Sneyd, Sotheby’s Managing Director,...

The trade in Far Eastern Art in Berlin during the Weimar Republic (1918-1933)

Patrizia Jirka-Schmitz
The trade in Far Eastern objects of art and consequently the establishment of an art market in Europe originated with the Dutch Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie (V.O.C.) in the seventeenth century. In Berlin during the period from 1850 to 1870, East Asian art was often sold in conjunction with other goods from the Far East that were referred to as “colonial”, such as tea. At the turn of the twentieth century, the initially more popular Japanese...

Exhibiting and Auctioning Yuanmingyuan (\"Summer Palace\") Loot in 1860s and 1870s London: The Elgin and Negroni Collections

Louise Tythacott
This article examines the exhibitions and sales of Yuanmingyuan (or ‘Summer Palace’) loot taken from China in October 1860 by two soldiers in the Anglo-French armies – James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (1811-1863) and Captain Jean-Louis de Negroni (b.1820). Both men displayed their collections before auctioning them – the former in the prestigious South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in 1862; the latter in a well known exhibitionary site, the Crystal Palace in Sydenham...

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