Thursday, August 14, 2014

Modern Expression of Value: Art of Significance (Arnold Choi and Bonhams)

A 345 year old cello - originally constructed in 1669 - and has survived, not stored in a museum but for the last three years in the possession of renowned Canadian Cellist Arnold Choi - a dream com true for him.  The Stradivarius is quoted as been valued at $11MM.

A 1962 Ferrari GTO is an iconic machine to all Tifosi and automotive enthusiasts across the globe.  With very few original examples ever built, their sales are closely followed.  Recent sales have been rumored to have topped $50MM.  This particular example has been in the same ownership in Italy for almost 50yrs, and sold at Bonham's Quail Lodge Auction on Thursday, August 14th for $38MM.

<i>The Ex-Jo Schlesser/Henri Oreiller, Paolo Colombo, Ernesto Prinoth, Fabrizio Violati</i><br /><b>1962-63 FERRARI 250 GTO BERLINETTA</b><br />Chassis no. 3851GT<br />Engine no. 3851GT

These circumstances bring forward an interesting comparison.  From a value perspective, they are both considered (mostly) irreplaceable.  I feel that replacing 345yr old wood is almost impossible, isn't it?  The materials and engineering are in place to re-create the original car if it was ever damaged.  Re-creation GTO's generally have sold for a significant discount.  So in terms of ease of replacement and rareness, would it not seem logical for the price of the cello to be significantly more than the Ferrari.  They are equally cherished by their admirers, fans and those that are fortunate enough to interact directly.  Their advocates would each debate their superiority to extremes.  It highlights that the 'relative' value for art is what the next person will pay for it.

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