Art Prices – Its Mardan Fri, 14 Jan 2022 12:25:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Art Prices – Its Mardan 32 32 5 Lakeside Towns Where You Can Buy a Home for $250,000 or Less Fri, 14 Jan 2022 12:25:00 +0000 Although they have increased slightly, mortgage interest rates remain near historic lows. That said, house prices have seen a significant rise in many markets. So we went looking for cool lakeside towns where the median house was still under $250,000.

If you crave warm weather: Leesburg, Florida

Leesburg, Florida

Photo of Visit the lake

Located in the Orlando metropolitan area, Leesburg is a thriving city nestled between two lakes in Florida’s Lake County, which contains a total of 250 named lakes and 1,735 other bodies of water. Waterfront properties in Leesburg are always affordable, and homes set back from the lake can be snapped up for as little as $50,000. When you’re not on the water, fishing for largemouth bass and catfish or watching the area’s multitude of alligators, enjoy local festivals including Bikefest, Leesburg Art Fuse Festival and the Black Heritage Festival. Leesburg might not be the place for you if you love swimming in lakes – remember the alligators – but the Atlantic Ocean is only 80km away and the area certainly offers a plethora of pools.

Median house value: $236,429
Population: 23,671
Cost of life:11% below the US average

Sources: Median Zillow Home Values; cost of living from Sperling’s Best Places; Census Bureau population

If you want to be on one of the Great Lakes: Sandusky, Ohio

Sandusky, Ohio

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Named one of America’s Best Small Coastal Towns by USA Today for 2020, Sandusky, Ohio has a revitalized downtown that includes the Jackson Street Pier, which has a large stage area for concerts, and the Marketplace at Cooke, a former department store that now includes shops, restaurants and an ax throwing bar. The thriving city, which is also home to an indoor water park and the famous Cedar Point amusement park, is located on the south shore of Lake Erie, halfway between Cleveland and Toledo. Splurge for a condo or house on the lake, or spend less money on a house downtown. Sandusky is a wonderful place to hang out with the kids, kayak on the lake, or visit one of the area’s amusement parks, but due to a lack of industry in the area, about 20% of residents live below the poverty line.

Median house value: $91,108
Population: 24,564
Cost of life: 31.2% below the US average

If you like birdwatching: Guntersville, Alabama

Lake Guntersville, Alabama

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Nestled in the heart of the Mississippi Flyway, a vast path that approximately 40 percent of North America’s ducks and geese take each year, Guntersville is located on Alabama’s largest lake, Lake Guntersville. If you have a passion for bird watching – or bird hunting – this quaint little spot will give you access to over 900 miles of shoreline to track migrations. When you’re not looking up at the sky, enjoy the serene blue-green waters or take a walk through one of the area’s natural forests, which include bat caves. Fish for largemouth bass in the winter or just enjoy the serenity on your porch while watching bald eagles, waterfowl, red mergansers, lesser scaup, gadwalls or red ducks. If you hate the heat, use the house in winter; summers in Huntsville can be unbearably humid.

Median house value: $213,519
Population: 8,685
Cost of life: 14.9% below the US average

If you want to do lots of things: Branson, Missouri

Table Rock Lake, Branson, Missouri

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There’s no shortage of things to do in Branson, MO, home to West 76 Country Boulevard, a highway with restaurants, shows, and attractions, including Dolly Parton’s Stampede, a dinner theater that features horse shows and live musical productions, and Wonderworks, an upside-down house that contains over 100 interactive exhibits. Located in the Ozark Mountains, Branson has a lot of natural beauty due to its proximity to three lakes: Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals. Spend the summer months on Moonshine Beach or hike the Table Rock Lakeshore Trail, then hang in front of your fire when the snow begins to pile up in winter. The city has a lot to offer, but crime is high.

Median house value: $213,021
Population: 11,630
Cost of life: 19.0% below US average

If you want to be in the great outdoors: Millinocket, Maine

Baxter State Park, Maine

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The gateway to northern Maine, which is a wild and largely uninhabited stretch of land dominated by dense forests, clear lakes and towering mountains, Millinocket lies about 60 miles north of Bangor. The city is a great place to settle down if you really want to get away from it all. Spend your days hunting, fishing, hiking and boating on nearby Quakish Lake or Dolby Pond. If you’re adventurous, take regular hikes in Baxter State Park or try rock climbing Mount Katahdin, the state’s tallest mountain, located just 25 miles northwest of town. For intellectual stimulation, visit Bangor for its art galleries, shops and restaurants. But get ready for winter. Average snowfall for the northern interior of Maine is 90 to 110 inches per year, which means that unless you have snowshoes or cross-country skis, you probably won’t spend much time in the outside.

Median house value: $95,660
Population: 4,287
Cost of life: 25.5% below the US average

Also see: 6 Beautiful Lakeside Towns Where You Can Buy a Home for $300,000 or Less

Richard Strauss: ‘in Vienna we have hunger – and art’ | Music Wed, 12 Jan 2022 14:05:00 +0000

Fleet Street, Friday
Dr Richard Strauss arrived in London from America. This is the first time he has visited these countries since the war. In an interview with a London representative for the Manchester Guardian, he said his US tour had been long and enjoyable. He hadn’t been troubled by any lingering anti-German sentiment, and there was a very large American audience that was determined to have good music.

The same was true, he says, in Austria and Germany. The fatigue and despair created by the past terrible years had not reacted negatively on the arts. All countries have lost promising musicians, but the music has not been affected. If there has been a change, it is towards a greater enthusiasm for music, and indeed for all the arts. There was a good audience, despite the poverty, and they liked experimentation and novelty, but not too much. There were many good compositions in Germany and Austria, both lyrical and general. He mentioned the names of Pfitzner, Schreker, Korngold and Reznicek, as men doing interesting work for opera, and said that there was also a good composer in Hausegger, but he did not try the opera.

Dr. Strauss did not want to go into criticism of modern men and musical movements. “We are so easily misunderstood.” What strikes him the most is the firm will of Central Europe to preserve its music. In many cases, that was all they had left, and they were eager to hold on. “In Vienna”, as he says laconically, “we have hunger – and art. It’s because we’ve lost so much that we cling so tightly to what can be saved: our art. It must survive. It was a path to joy.

In Vienna, the city, despite the lamentable state of its finances, has continued to generously subsidize the opera. The same was true of German cities. The result was that seats could always be offered at popular prices for the best music and singing the city or country had to offer.

He could only give the figures for four months ago for the Vienna National Opera, of which he is the director. There, a good seat cost 400 crowns, but he thought it must have been increased since then. But they were always keen to keep plenty of extremely cheap places available to the poorest, and there was a very general desire among workers to take advantage of these opportunities.

Good ideas from Manchester
It was a terribly difficult time for artists, and even with the help of state subsidies it was no easier for them than for the rest of Viennese to achieve a reasonable standard of living. But those who could would occasionally make rounds of work in Switzerland or Spain, or further afield, so that they could earn money where money meant something, and then return with the exchange for their savings and so continue their work.

When asked if he thinks music can really help break down national barriers and build friendship and understanding, Dr. Strauss only pledged to hope. “Hunger and art bring people together.” He has received invitations since the war to visit Italy and he hopes to go there later. But the time, unfortunately, has not yet come for German art to be appreciated in France.

Dr. Strauss has benevolent ideas about Manchester, and mentions with admiration the Hallé Orchestra, which Hans Richter once conducted. In current English music, he has the warmest feeling for Elgar.

Dr. Strauss is left with the impression of benevolent seriousness and a broad and even personality. When he speaks in his limited English, he feels his words not with the eager petulance of a man who must express his ideas as thought flows, but with the loving care of a philosopher who thinks each sentence must be sifted and sifted again.

]]> Academic merit aid (or lack thereof) makes early decision-making more and more murky Mon, 10 Jan 2022 22:00:26 +0000

When I first posed this question to Mr. Kumarasamy, he suggested that it was some kind of game. I objected to this, since a lot of people think they can’t afford. its list price of around $ 75,000, but can run it at $ 50,000 with this discount on merit assistance. How can that play out on the system, I asked, when it doesn’t give them any idea up front as to whether they could get that $ 25,000?

Finally, he came. “What is not good for the student is not good for any of us,” he said. But he also quickly pointed out the zero-sum nature of an early decision; if you bail out on an acceptance, you’ve taken the place of someone else – maybe someone even more needy than you – who wished they could come in early in senior year of high school and accept the offer of financial aid from the school.

“There is a difference between behavior that occurs in rare cases and behavior that we want to encourage,” Northeastern spokesperson Michael Armini said by email.

I would like to encourage this behavior a little more than Northeastern, and I would like the college counselors in high schools to do that too.

It would be so much easier if none of these scans were needed, but the first decisions will be with us for a while because the colleges love it so much. When registrars (as they are now often called themselves) admit a large portion of a class at a point in the process where students feel pressured to go if they enter, it gives schools great control over the precise types of students in a given class – and how much income they will generate.

So as long as we’re stuck with a very flawed system, schools should say what percentage of students get merit aid in the first decision cycle, if they have one, and also offer merit aid. All schools should also indicate what percentage of the overall class receives merit support and explain how they define the term.

They should say that the advance ruling is not binding and they should pledge not to punish prospective high school applicants where former applicants have turned away from an early ruling acceptance. They should also clarify if they have a problem with people turning down an early ruling offer because they haven’t received enough merit assistance.

Why the climate craze for crypto art is really beyond satire John naughton Sat, 08 Jan 2022 20:42:00 +0000

On December 24, the film Do not seek started streaming on Netflix after a limited theatrical release. It’s a satirical story, directed by Adam McKay, about what happens when a humble doctoral student (played by Jennifer Lawrence) and his supervisor (Leonardo DiCaprio) discover that an asteroid the size of Everest is heading towards Earth. What is happening is that they try to warn their fellow Earthlings about this existential threat only to find that their target audience is not interested in hearing such bad news.

The film was widely watched but was glued by critics. It was, said the Observer‘s Simran Hans, a “shrill and hopelessly no fun satire on climate change”. the Guardian‘s Peter Bradshaw found it to be “laborious, embarrassed and un-relaxed satire … like a 145-minute film. Saturday Night Live sketch without the brilliant comedy of Succession… Nor the seriousness that the subject might otherwise require ”.

These complaints about rawness and OTT rang a bell. It turns out that a markedly exaggerated satire published in 1729 elicited comparable reactions. Its author, Jonathan Swift, was an Anglo-Irish clergyman who was dean of Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin. The title of Swift – A modest proposal to keep the children of the poor from being a burden on their parents or their country and to make them beneficial to the public – only gives a glimpse of the savagery of the satire within . For the heart of the proposal was that the impoverished Irish could alleviate their economic woes by selling their children as food to wealthy men and women. “A healthy, well-nourished young child,” we read, “is one of the most delicious, nutritious and healthy foods at one year of age, whether baked, roasted, baked or boiled; and I have no doubt that it will also serve in a fricassee or a stew.

You get the drift. Swift’s target was the Anglo-Irish aristocracy, often absentee landlords living off the rents of their desperately poor Irish tenant while walking around Mayfair. McKay’s targets are more diffuse. It targets less a specific class than an entire lifestyle – people too dazed by consumerism, short-termism and social media, too hypnotized by the interests of big tech companies, to worry about the future of humanity.

Which brings us, oddly enough, to a contemporary obsession – the frenzy that now surrounds non-fungible tokens or NFTs. For those who have yet to notice this obsession, an NFT is essentially a traceable code that is indelibly attached to a digital object such as an image or recording. Once someone has purchased this item, it becomes irrevocably registered on their ID and it can therefore be said that they are the owner of the code.

If that sounds obscure, that’s because it is. And yet, for about 18 months, NFTs have been causing a sensation in the art world or, at least, in its part controlled by the big auction houses. Last June, Sotheby’s held an NFT auction with prices ranging from $ 9,000 to $ 11 million. At a previous Christie’s auction, a digital artwork by Mike Winkelmann, who calls himself Beeple, sold for $ 69 million. Until then, Mr. Winkelmann had never sold a print for more than a hundred dollars.

You can guess what this sparked: an avalanche of budding Beeples, plus plenty of speculative scammers who see a possibility of smaller jackpots for relatively little work (say a recording of your lovely cat’s purring). Anyone can play the game, and there are some useful DIY guides on the web for those who want to give it a try.

So what’s not to like? Surely it is a good thing that artists who struggled to earn a crust during the pandemic can get paid? He is. But there is a small catch: the technology that ensures that the NFT you bought is a blockchain similar to the ones that power cryptocurrencies like bitcoin or Ethereum. And the computation necessary to provide the certification which is the USP of blockchains requires massive amounts of electricity, which comes with a significant carbon footprint. A single transaction on the Ethereum blockchain, for example, currently requires 232.51 kWh, which is equivalent to the power consumption of an average American household over 7.86 days.

If McKay decides he’d like to try the Swiftian satire again, there’s an opening for him here. Nero was content to fiddle around while Rome was on fire: we were enthusiastically bidding for NFTs while warming the planet.

What i read

One more thing
Why I Traded My Fancy Rock Climbing Gear for a Pair of Dilapidated Watches is a lovely blog post from Conrad Anker that will make sense to anyone cursed (or blessed) with a collectible gene.

Back to the future
The great robotics expert Rodney Brooks gives his annual review of the predictions he made in 2018.

The great Escape
The Haunted California Idyll of German Writers in Exile is a beautiful essay by Alex Ross in the New Yorker about the intellectuals and artists who fled Hitler and ended up in LA.

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Bitcoin price drops to lowest since September, down 40% from record Fri, 07 Jan 2022 08:28:38 +0000

The price of Bitcoin continued to expand its decline as it plunged below $ 42,000 to levels not seen since September. The world’s largest cryptocurrency has lost more than $ 27,000 or 40% since it hit a record high of nearly $ 69,000 in November 2021. The digital token has fallen 4.9% to $ 41,008 .

Meanwhile, Ether, the coin linked to the ethereum blockchain and the second largest cryptocurrency, has fallen 9% to its lowest level since September 30. Other digital tokens, including Binance Coin, Solana, Cardano, and XRP, are down more than 10% in the past seven days. The global crypto market capitalization has fallen more than 4% to $ 2.08 trillion, according to CoinGecko.

Bitcoin gained around 60% last year, outperforming other asset classes. However, Ether has outperformed Bitcoin thanks to the adoption of blockchain technology by financial technology companies, and perhaps more specifically the popularity of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) in the art and gaming worlds. Among the largest cryptocurrencies, Binance Coin posted the best performance, adding around 1,300% in 2021.

The recent fluctuations in cryptocurrencies come in a period of volatility for the financial markets. Soaring inflation is forcing central banks to tighten monetary policy, threatening to reduce the tailwind of liquidity that has lifted a wide array of assets.

The Bitcoin hash rate, a measure of the network’s computing power, fell to 176 million terahash on Thursday, from a record high of around 208 million on January 1, according to data from

(With contributions from agencies)

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Offices priced above $ 100 PSF return faster than cheaper space: CBRE – Commercial Observer Tue, 04 Jan 2022 20:53:47 +0000

The $ 100 per square foot market for office rentals in Manhattan is coming back faster than spaces priced below that threshold, and that’s a good indication that flight to quality is the determining factor of the recent increase in class A transactions, according to a report by CBRE.

The borough recorded 105 office contracts at triple-digit prices last year, up 114% since 2020 and 18% above a five-year average. Meanwhile, spaces priced below $ 100 per square foot have consistently exceeded pre-pandemic numbers.

That doesn’t mean tenants have to dig deeper into their pockets to find workspace.

“When you look at the calculation of what it’s going to cost them out of pocket, you add in the concessions, you see that even in the $ 100 deal market the actual net rent is still low. ” Nicole LaRusso, CBRE’s Tri-State Research and Analysis Director, told Commercial Observer. “The sentiment in the market seems to be that landlords are feeling a little more optimistic about the possibility of raising their asking rents, but that there is still a need to offer a lot of concessions in order to get a deal done. “

LaRusso added that even though the market is small, the fact that Class A space is skyrocketing strengthens the argument that the flight to quality still has its grip on the Manhattan rental market.

“I’m not to say that the price doesn’t matter, but tenants are willing to pay higher rents in exchange for better amenities, better located buildings, new assets with quality building systems.” , LaRusso said. “Buildings at $ 100 fit that profile, in general. “

With a construction boom – and a home improvement boom – taking place just before the pandemic, the extra supply actually generated demand for upper-class spaces. The migration to buildings with state-of-the-art HVAC, high-speed elevators, proximity to public transportation, and other amenities that are now seen as the core of an office secure against COVID was already underway. The volume of this expensive space has grown 250% since 2016 to reach 11.1 million square feet by the end of 2021, according to CBRE.

But rent prices could hit new highs, according to the brokerage. The market had not seen as many deals of $ 150 per square foot as in 2021 since 2016, and more deals of $ 200 per square foot in Manhattan were signed last year than in previous ones.

Financial sector tenants occupied the largest share of spaces priced above $ 100 per square foot in 2021, 45%, but accounting for 69% of all transactions for the year, CBRE said. Likewise, media and entertainment tenants signed 18% of high-end leases, but were only represented by 3% of deals.

“I think we’re pretty confident that the market is on a fairly strong and steady rise from the low point of the pandemic,” LaRusso added.

Mark Hallum can be contacted at

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Alison Rowat’s TV preview: Inside Dubai; Four lives; Anne; The tourist; Art on the BBC Sat, 01 Jan 2022 05:45:02 +0000 WITH the acres of gold plating on display in Inside Dubai: Playground of the Rich (BBC2, Monday, 9 p.m.), it looks like the kind of place Donald Trump would feel right at home. Everything in this tax haven, the fourth most visited city in the world, screams “money“, but is it for everyone?

The expatriate millionaires who live there clearly think so, as do the native Emiratis who are handed everything – land, work, post – on a (gold) plate. But what about the many low-paid migrant workers, or anyone who dares to criticize the ruling elite? As Will Mellor, narrator of this three-part docu-series, puts it, Dubai is “some people’s paradise – if you follow the rules.”

Among the expats is the wife of a businessman who shows us around one of Dubai’s closed communities. It points to a house belonging to the Mugabe family; they have amazing parties on New Years Eve, apparently.

Then there is the fashionista who bought her lifelines at Hermès and Chanel. She has trouble remembering the price of anything. In every life a little rain, etc. Disabled, the producers help by providing the prices in captions.

The gulf between haves and have-nots becomes painfully apparent when filmmakers talk to some of the domestic staff. A chef, who sends money home for his son’s education, has seen the boy once a year since he was born. He is now 20 years old.

In the wake of its festive special, Call the Midwife (BBC1, Sunday, 8 p.m.) starts a new race in eight parts.

The Heida Thomas drama is now in its 11th series. The Christmas Day episode proved to be a divisor of opinion with some viewers wondering if the baby (spoiler alert) born to a heroin addicted mother was not too realistic. But mixing the personal and the political has always been the force of this drama, and there is no slackening on this front as the timeline moves to 1967.

After another year of lockdowns and more than a few rehearsals, 2022 is off to a strong start with a rush of new drama to accompany old familiars.

The Tourist (BBC1, Saturday / Sunday, 9 p.m., and on iPlayer) is a six-part by Jack and Harry Williams (The Missing, Angela Black) that stars Jamie Dornan as a visitor from the Australian outback who does has no idea how it got there. It must have been a pretty wasted weekend.

British television has no shortage of strong actresses, and few do justice to true stories like Sheridan Smith and Maxine Peake. Smith stars in Four Lives (BBC1, Mon-Wed, 9 p.m.) as a mother seeking justice after her son’s murder, while Peake stars in Anne (STV, Sunday-Wednesday). Anne Williams’ teenage son Kevin was one of many who went to watch a football game at Hillsborough Stadium one day in 1989 and never returned home.

Art on the BBC (BBC4, Monday, 9 p.m.) allows four young art historians to wander through society’s rich archives to find out how Aunt has helped or hindered understanding of great artists and their works. David Dibosa is about Salvador Dali. Easy, you might think, judging by Dibosa’s description of the Spanish surrealist as “one of the greatest showmen of modern art.”

But was there more to him than the publicity stunts and the posters on many student walls?

Perhaps having so many materials to choose from was more of a curse than a blessing. Sometimes the film is a mess, without really knowing if it wants to be a conventional portrait of an artist, or a criticism of the critics.

It’s worth watching, however, for Dibosa’s scholarship and wit, and for the chance to wander through Auntie’s artistic cover once again. Omnibus, Arena, Malcolm Muggeridge, Sister Wendy (do you remember her?), They are all there, some tease each other deliciously, as in the clip of Alan Yentob speaking of André Breton. “Breton was the godfather of surrealism. Breton was the midwife of surrealism. Breton was the seamstress of surrealism. Make up your mind, mate. Sister Wendy thought Dali was trying to disturb and called her works “horrible”.

Philippa Perry’s 2017 film How to Be a Surrealist is receiving rave reviews from the very picky critics interviewed, and you can watch it again right after Dibosi Hour is over. Other topics in the coming weeks will be Van Gogh, Monet and Turner.

It occurred to me that this second Art Series on the BBC is doubling up with some kind of X factor to uncover the next big name in arts TV coverage. As such, Dibosi stands out as a man to beat. I was also struck by the number of artistic presenters on the BBC. In terms of longevity on TV, the job is the equivalent of a stuntman or a crocodile hunter. Good luck to the next man or woman who lands the job.

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Comment: Despite Beeple’s $ 69 million windfall, uncertainty hangs over museum NFT art sales Thu, 30 Dec 2021 22:04:52 +0000


The link between ownership of a work of art and an NFT associated with that work can be confusing.

While it may appear to be the opposite, TVN is an asset distinct from art itself. The owners of the art retain ownership even after the NFTs derived from that art are minted and sold.

This separation can mean that the art owner does not have the special ability to turn an affiliate NFT into a big win.

Just as the value of a painting has little to do with the value of the painting, canvas, and frame, the financial value of an NFT is subjective. It depends on what others are willing to pay.

The creators of the underlying art, such as musicians and artists who retain control over their work, can – and do dominate – the NFTs connected to them. However, once art is held in a museum collection, the value of NFTs is less clear.

Just as a copy of a book autographed by the author can be more valuable than a book without this signature, an artist’s NFT struck of a work of folk art can attract the interest of collectors.

On the other hand, a book signed by the publisher or an NFT struck by a museum is necessarily less attractive for collectors. An NFT created by an artist and owned by a museum might generate more interest.

In other words, even if a museum has some valuable artwork, that doesn’t mean that NFT minting is a guaranteed source of income.

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Lego kits could be a better investment than gold, researchers say Wed, 29 Dec 2021 06:16:03 +0000

(NEXSTAR) – In 2020, Lego saw its sales increase by more than 20% compared to 2019, with revenues for the year reaching 43.7 billion Danish kroner, which is equivalent to around $ 6.99 billion . These kits could end up offering more than just entertainment for some.

A new study in Moscow has found that abandoned Lego sets may be worth more than stocks, bonds, gold, and other traditional investments like art. Researchers looked at the prices of more than 2,300 Lego sets from 1987 to 2015 and found that they appreciated by about 11% each year, outperforming “traditional” investments.

Two or three years after a Lego set was retired, researchers found that aftermarket prices usually start to rise. Small kits and extra large ones have a higher price tag than medium size kits. According to the researchers, this is due to small sets containing more unique pieces or figures. For larger kits, less is produced, making them harder to find.

The study, published in Research in International Business and Finance newspaper, also found that Lego kits dedicated to famous buildings, movies or vacations tend to be the most popular. Lego sets released in limited editions or available at promotional events also tended to increase in value due to their rarity.

Researchers have found that some of the more expensive Lego sets include those from the Star Wars series – the Millennium Falcon, Death Star II, and Imperial Star Destroyer. Another, Cafe Corner, recorded a 2230% return between its release in 2007 and 2015.

“LEGO investors generate high returns by reselling particularly rare unpackaged sets that were produced in limited editions or long ago. Sets produced 20-30 years ago make LEGO fans nostalgic, and the prices for them are skyrocketing. But despite the high profitability of LEGO sets in the aftermarket in general, not all sets are equally successful, and it takes a true LEGO fan to sort through the nuances of the market and see the potential for investing in one. particular set, ”Victoria Dobrynskaya, one of the researchers, said.

The researchers add that while Lego sets can be very profitable, the investment is only worth it in the long run and can be expensive due to delivery and storage.

If you haven’t racked up sets on Legos sets, you’re not out of the game for making money with your old toys. Some of your other childhood favorites might be of value in the collectibles market.

“For a toy to be collectable and to have secondary market value, there has to be an emotional attachment to it. It brings up a memory, ”Toy Hunter toy expert Jordan Hembrough told Nexstar. He recommends checking out your attic or old toy bin – old figures are growing in popularity, and toys from decades ago are once again precious.

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Francis spoke about the explosion of the contemporary art market and his “peephole” career going from artist to auction manager Mon, 27 Dec 2021 06:00:11 +0000

You have been active as an artist and curator; you had a theoretical and artistic training Historical context. Wasn’t going to an auction house problematic? Many artists, art historians, art critics don’t like auction houses because the evaluation goes through the money. There was that old conflict between art and money, already Pliny in the 1st century complained about the degradation of art due to its connection with money. Have you not had a problem with the exchange of the symbolic value for financial value?

Obviously, this has always been a problem; it was even more true in my time; people really haven’t crossed that divide at all. For many people, I was like Judas; they felt like I had almost turned my back on the artists. But my position was relatively creative because I felt that I could make a difference. I never had a problem with the connection between art and money at all. From my point of view it seemed crazy to me that great art was being done that was not appreciated in the the artist’s life and allow him to pursue his career. I never wanted to do just a “job” in my life. I looked at him as a kind mission to try to change the perception of the auction house in various parts of the art world. When I came there as an artist and curator, I thought we could show these works better than they were being shown at that time. At that time there was absolutely no interaction between auction houses and artists; I wanted to to get artists who were unhappy with auction houses to be more in discussion with them.

Who is the first artist with whom you managed to engage with Sotheby’s?

Damien Hirst in my first evening auction. It was a heart shaped butterfly painting that Marco Pierre White was selling. Marco and Damien had had a partnership on the Quo Vadis restaurant in London, but they had fallen out with the public and Marco was selling this painting. I do not have want Damien to feel ostracized, so I suggested that we build enough time to include it in the process. I felt it was an opportunity to obtain the artist’s point of view and contribution on the presentation of his work which would encourage them to feel involved and therefore supportive to treat. For me it was a win-win situation and it worked really good. He helped us with the spreads. He gave us different points of view and the room ended up selling to Charles Saatchi. It became one of the big pieces that he promoted as part of his group Young British Art in the second wave.

Then we started to approach more and more artists. If you watch it today auction houses cater to virtually any art studio or their gallery to get their consensus on the presentation, because if you getting the wrong information is not good for you. It is part of the a legacy that I would like to think I left behind.

Damien Hirst, I love you forever (2014).


How do you explain that the majority of collectors now collect post-war and contemporary art? It wasn’t even the case 30 years ago.

It’s interesting. My father is an antique dealer; he started his antique business in the 1970s. It was a time when Europeans and English furniture was very popular; the 70s, 80s and 90s were, in a way, the golden period to establish this market. While you can still sell very special pieces very well, the general market for antique furniture has practically disappeared. The unsigned works are nowhere and are probably worth half or a third of what they were back then. I saw with my own eyes How? ‘Or’ What markets can change and fluctuate. Part of the reason why contemporary art has become so popular, I would say, is that works of art are relatively portable mirrors of your own life. As people have started to question the role and meaning of religion in their lives, art offers a different kind of philosophical context. Maybe I’m too romantic here, but I think art allows the viewer to find other forms of direction and spirit. Obviously, there are all kinds of art consumers out there, from the investor to the avid collector, and being one doesn’t necessarily exclude the other. For me, the biggest concern I have about the future of art is that it continues to interest us.

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