‘69 Led Zeppelin’s I album (signed by the original band)

Welcome to Cultural Assets Insider for May 12th, 2022 – FREE Edition.

Each week we give you the scoop on undervalued, mispriced and hidden gems in Alternative Investing.

Today is a special day – our resident art expert, Nicho Shorvon, is taking over the Cultural Assets Insider. While this means the issue will be ±30% less snarky than what you’re used to, it’ll also be at least 300% more knowledgeable and witty. So you’re in for a real treat.

Let’s go!

This year in Cultural Assets

On fractional marketplaces Rally and Otis, cultural assets have dipped into negative territory overall and are down about 25% so far on the year.

Data from Rally and Otis

This follows an overall downward trend on these marketplaces, though, and probably has less to do with the asset class itself and more to do with a lack of liquidity on the platforms.

Last week in Cultural Assets

Fractional Marketplaces

It was a tough week for art, historical, and musical items while scientific assets surged ahead.

Go Science!

Auctions

Last week, Sotheby’s presented Samurai: Japanese Arms and Armour. Unfortunately, sales really struggled, with many lots not making their reserve, despite a few receiving decent bids. Most of the lots that did sell performed average at best, with only a few beating their top estimate.

A lovely auction to scroll through – every piece is beautiful and expertly crafted (though some are a little scary!).

Andy Warhol was on the front pages for achieving a record-breaking sale with Shot Sage Blue Marilyn at Christie’s 20th/21st Century auction, The Collection of Thomas and Doris Ammann Evening Sale.

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987) – Shot Sage Blue Marilyn

There were seven artists who accomplished personal record sale prices in this hugely successful auction. In the same sale, Andy Warhol x Basquiat’s GE/Skull (no, it’s not the curator at Masterworks’ fever dream, it’s real) did very well, selling for $4,620,000 (estimated $2,000,000-3,000,000).

ANDY WARHOL (1928-1987) AND JEAN-MICHEL BASQUIAT (1960-1988) – GE/Skull

Also in mainstream news was the record-breaking sale of Sotheby’s lot: Diego Maradona “The Hand of God” and “Goal of the Century” World Cup Match Worn Shirt.

It performed very well achieving £7,142,500 (estimate £4,000,000 – £6,000,000).

Two of the most famous goals in history were scored wearing this shirt in a single match! It was sold by England player Steve Hodge (who swapped shirts with Maradona in the tunnel after the game).

This week in Cultural Assets

Fractional IPOs

‘69 Led Zeppelin’s I album (signed by the original band)

A precious piece of music history.

Auctions

At Alts HQ, there’s been a lot of fun had by scrolling through the lots in the entertainment memorabilia at Goldin. Wyatt wants to flex Tupac’s 1996 Hummer but is having his head turned by Jimi Hendrix’s feather boa, while Horacio and Stefan have been bidding against each other for some Prince threads.

No one is macabre enough to bid on Michael Jackson’s makeup case, with a personal prescription bottle for Darvocet.

In other news, there’s an excellent museum-quality Deinonychus skeleton (Raptor to you and I) going on sale at Christie’s New York on the 12th May.

It’s one of the three complete Deinonychus skeletons in existence.

This is the best and most comprehensive specimen (and the other two are never coming to market). It ticks every dinosaur skeleton box:

  • almost the entire bone set;
  • an iconic dinosaur;
  • animatedly assembled;
  • unfortunately, it also ticks the $4-$6 million estimate box.

However, don’t worry if you can’t afford that, you can instead get a Tyrannosaurus tooth (est. $700-$900) or a Megalodon Tooth (est. $500-$700 and $1500-$2000) from Bonhams “Fine Gem, Opals, Lapidary Arts and Natural history” on 17th May.

That’s one big Megalodon Tooth

They offer another Megalodon tooth as a silver pendant too. Stylish.

Julian Auctions continue their ride on the NFT bandwagon with a collection of rock photography portraits where each lot has the print and the matching NFT. The auction “F U Rock N Roll Portraits: Neil Zlozower Premier NFT Collection And Signed Prints 16/05/2022” is a collection of forty-five portrait photographs of exclusively white people, almost all men, with a consistent theme, where at least one person in every photograph is flipping the bird.

OZZY OSBOURNE & ZAKK WYLDE; SIGNED BY ZLOZ (WITH NFT)

Each lot makes the next look even less cool. However, you can pick up potential-future-president-of-the-USA Travis Barker’s middle finger portrait for an estimated $600-800.

There’s another Picasso ceramic auction at Christie’s closing 16th May, and another at Sotheby’s closing 12th May. Picasso ceramics are very often at auction because they have had consistently steady growth for a decade.

I’m bullish about them as both medium and long-term investments (here’s some reasons why).

Mint condition ceramics dwindle in number over time, so they become rarer and rarer, even if there’s an abundance of them. Picasso ceramics have lots of character and are very charming (and, you know, they’re by The Picasso!). In auctions like these for Picasso ceramics only, there’s the opportunity to be in the right place at the right time.

Pablo Picasso – Visage noir (Alain Ramié 39)

Many lots are closing at the same time, while others are having their deadline extended as the bidding goes back and forth. This means that quite often lots with little competition can slip through, as rival bidders’ attention is elsewhere. So maybe stick around till the end to grab a bargain.

This approach requires researching all lots you’d consider buying in advance. As it all moves fast, you will want your research to be easily accessible.

Pablo Picasso – Lampe femme (A. R. 298)

On 24th May, Chiswick Auctions are having a sale of 19th and 20th Century Photography. Most of the lots are examples of the earliest photography techniques (I’m not going to get into the debate of which came first: Calotype vs. Daguerreotype, etc).

Most lots fall between £100-£300. Hidden amongst them is a sneaky good future museum piece: A booklet with four large prints by Julia Margaret Cameron (est £12,000 – £15000).

Cameron was a truly original photographer who innovated the new medium of her time.

Art history and art markets are currently adjusting to recognize the overlooked, pioneering women and this is a truly great piece by one of them. A savvy buy.

And finally, an outstanding sale at Christie’s this week, and this might just be my favorite piece

STUDIO JOB (EST. 1998) Banana Lamp (Model B)

Last but not least, our Podcast

In this episode, Horacio spoke with meteorite collector and dealer Mendy Ouzillou. Mendy is also the founder of SkyFall Meteorites and the Founder and President of the Global Meteorite Association. Ouzillou talks about the current state of the meteorite marketplace, discusses the fractionalized Lunar Meteorite on Rally Road, and more.

That’s all for this week.

Cheers,

Wyatt

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Author

Wyatt Cavalier

Wyatt Cavalier

With a background in finance & intelligence analysis, Wyatt has an unhealthy obsession with finding the best blue chip investment opportunities. His previous newsletter, Fractional, resonated deeply with subscribers, bringing actionable insights and unconventional trading strategies. His rare book collection specializes in banned editions. He currently lives in Spain with his beautiful wife, three young boys, and dog Monty.

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