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Headlines and Highlights: Week of January 19th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of January 19th
January 19, 2024
Keenan Flack

Altan Insights Launches 4Q and 2023 Sports Collectibles Report

Our sports collectibles report provides in-depth analysis of the sports collectibles market, focusing on key trends, market performance, and auction outcomes. In the fourth quarter of 2023, the sector experienced a significant downturn, with a 40% year-over-year decrease in six-figure auction sales and a 27% decline compared to the previous quarter. This represented the lowest total in three years, with most auction houses reporting decreases in their top 50 sales ranging from 30-70%. Notably, there were only four seven-figure auction sales in Q4, the lowest in two years, though these sales were significant in value and impact.

The report highlights that the top 25 game-worn/used sales in Q4 were up by 48% year-over-year, but this growth was heavily influenced by a $7.2 million Messi sale. Without this outlier, there would have been a decline, reflecting lesser depth in the market. Vintage and Pre-War cards outperformed Modern and Ultra-Modern categories in Q4, reversing the trend observed in Q3. Despite this, the overall sports collectibles market, particularly the card sector, continued to struggle with falling values and subdued demand. The report suggests that the market's downturn could be attributed to a combination of factors, including economic challenges and a correction following the speculative frenzy of previous years.

Be sure to check out the report for analysis of sports, top sales, and more! ALTAN

Phillips CEO Resigns After Almost Three Years on the Job

Stephen Brooks, CEO of Phillips, has resigned after nearly three years in charge. Under his leadership, Phillips achieved record sales and expanded globally, even during market downturns. His departure, due to personal reasons, was confirmed by both Artnews and Phillips. Edward Dolman, the company's executive chairman and former CEO, praised Brooks' contributions to the company's growth and infrastructure, and will oversee management temporarily. Brooks, who previously served as Christie’s CFO, had succeeded Dolman as CEO in April 2021.

During Brooks’ tenure, Phillips reached new heights, selling $1.2 billion in luxury goods in 2021, a 32% increase from 2019 and marking the first time the auction house crossed the billion-dollar threshold. In 2022, sales rose to a record $1.3 billion. Notable achievements under Brooks include the launch of a fiduciary services division, successfully navigating potential boycotts during the Ukraine war by supporting the Ukrainian Red Cross, and expanding Phillips' presence in Asia with new headquarters in Hong Kong and an office in Milan. However, 2023 saw a 15% decline in annual total results, reflecting a broader market slowdown. ARTNET

Collectible Happenings

Samuel Valette, Sotheby’s senior vice president, testified in the high-profile fraud trial involving Dmitry Rybolovlev, who accuses Sotheby’s of aiding in overpricing art sold to him by dealer Yves Bouvier. Valette's testimony focused on his unawareness of Bouvier's clients and his involvement in the private sales, while Rybolovlev’s attorneys aimed to prove Sotheby’s complicity in the alleged fraud. ARTNET

The Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam plans to re-release the limited-edition 'Pikachu with Grey Felt Hat' Pokémon card next month, following last year's chaos caused by crowds in the museum's gift shop. The card, inspired by Van Gogh's 1887 self-portrait, will be available in select Dutch stores, and its resale value has slightly decreased since the announcement of the relaunch. ARTNET

Upper Deck has renewed its exclusive license with the NHL Alumni Association to continue producing physical trading cards featuring over 1,000 former NHL players. The partnership, which includes legends like Wayne Gretzky and Patrick Roy, will also expand to include digital cards sold through Upper Deck's Evolution platform. SCDAILY

PSA has launched a new Online Submission Center, featuring a redesigned interface, mobile-friendly options, and an image-assisted search function to simplify and speed up the submission process for collectibles. The update also includes the ability to save payment methods and shipping addresses, and upcoming features in 2024 will include prepaid printable labels and scan-to-submit technology. PSA

A 1/1 SuperFractor autograph card of Iowa basketball phenom Caitlin Clark is currently up for auction and has already surpassed the previous record for a women's basketball card with a current bid of $18,400. SCDAILY

eBay has initiated its 2024 'Marquee Auction' series, a monthly collection of 10-day auctions featuring rare and valuable sports cards from its sellers, with the first auction currently underway. This series, backed by eBay's Authenticity Guarantee, includes notable items like a Michael Jordan patch autograph card with a unique printer's error and other rare collectibles from athletes like Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Hank Aaron. SCDAILY

Belgian police have recovered two paintings by Pablo Picasso and Marc Chagall, valued at $900,000, which were stolen from an Israeli family's home in Tel Aviv in 2010. The suspect, a 68-year-old Israeli luxury watch dealer, was arrested for handling stolen goods after the paintings were found in a basement in Antwerp, properly packaged to prevent deterioration. ARTNET

Signed mugshot of Donald Trump sold at Goldin for $12,200. GOLDIN

A fire in Seattle's Davidson Galleries, likely started by someone in an alley to ward off cold, has potentially destroyed several works on paper by artists like Picasso, Goya, and Rembrandt. While no injuries were reported, the gallery is in the process of assessing the damage, with some artworks affected by smoke but possibly preserved thanks to protective measures and the firefighters' efforts. ARTNEWS

Business Insider highlights trends in luxury collectibles markets like whisky, watches, and wine. They cite Altan Insights analysis throughout! BUSINESSINSIDER

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