Friday, 3 January 2014

Original Art Prices: The Heritage Effect

(Click image to enlarge)
(from Market Report 2013: The Heritage Effect, 26 December 2013)
...Previously, the Heritage prices and the eBay prices were always in line with one another. In fact, when there were large numbers of pages available, the more mundane ones would have their prices suppressed. This jump in the Heritage auctions and the couple of high priced eBay sales could be signaling a trend. Original comic art prices, overall, have continued to skyrocket, in general, during the post-crisis economy.... If I was selling some choice pages, I would be contacting the folks at Heritage to set up a sale. However, anything looking like a glut of pages appearing, I think, could cancel the Heritage Effect.

On 22 February 2013 Dave Sim sold 10 pages of High Society original art via Heritage Auctions for a total of $17,250, ie an average of $1,725 per page. If, as Brian asserts, this represents an over valuation compared to the normal ebay prices for pages of Cerebus original artwork, doesn't simple 'supply and demand' theory dictate that there should have been a flood of pages on to the market. If the price jumps 50% over night and the pages are still trickling out, basic Free Market 101 tells you that the pages are still undervalued at the Heritage Auction prices.

An interesting statistic would be the ratio of pages that come on the market in a given year versus the number of pages in private hands. I remember Dave mentioning that he and Ger still have 3,800 pages of Cerebus original artwork in their possession, so that means there must be 2,200 pages out 'in the wild'. According to Brian Coppola, 34 pages 'in the wild' changed hands during 2013 (ie the total 44 pages sold during 2013 less Dave's 10 pages), ie 1.55% of pages 'in the wild'. How many pages came on the market after Dave's NYC Auction? Not many, it would seem.

Commentary by NYC Auction Winning Bidders: Kenneth Thomas & Greg
Dave Sim's NYC Auction 'Post-Match Analysis'
NYC Heritage Auction Results
Dave Sim Discusses The 'High Society Collection' Art Auction

1 comment:

Jeff Seiler said...

I think that it would be important to keep in mind that the majority (if not vast majority) of people who bought pages have an emotional connection to them and wouldn't sell for any price. Also, a large number of pages were from very early issues that Dave sold to help finance the comic (and on one memorable occasion he sold all of the pages of one issue so he could by some pot), and that those earlier pages may well have been lost to the ravages of time. Also, there were more than 6000 pages done, including also all of the covers, so if Dave and Ger REALLY have exactly 3800 pages between them, including or plus the covers (I think none of which have been sold), then there's more than 2200 pages out there. Or Dave and Ger have more than 3800 pages between them.