This will be our first cruise on Celebrity but on Carnival and RCCL they had art auctions. We think there will be one on Celebrity also (?). All these auctions seem to be run by Park East (?)..I guess they contract with all the cruise lines. On our first cruise we purchased an Andrew Warden (Painter of Light) piece for 200 and was immediately appraised at 795. I am by no means an expert on art. My question for anyone with a good knowledge of art auctions on ship is......Do you really get a good deal at these auctions? How could a piece we bought for 200 be appraised at 795? Any info "someone in the know" could give us would be greatly appreciated. Also, I want to thank all the posters here for their posts because we have learned alot from others experiences. I don't always agree but still learn from those posts also . I hope I don't irritate too many here and will try to keep my posts constructive even when we "agree to disagree". Thanks to all here.
Rick and Deb
Hi Rick and Deb,
Thank you for your service to our country and to my family (your reference to Semper Fi gave you away) from the daughter of a retired Ambassador. We truly appreciate the man who stood the watch over our family during our twenty years overseas.
Now onto your question. Park West Galleries does indeed do a gold mine business on the cruise lines...as to whether or not your piece, purchased for 200 could appraise for 795, yes, that is entirely possible. The piece you describe (Andrew Warden) if it is a lithograph, limited edition and signed in the plate (that means signed in the lithographic plate and then transferred to the canvas) would indeed sell for that price, 795, perhaps a bit more to a serious collector in a large metropolitan area, such as San Francisco where Warden is popular.
As to whether or not your situation is routine: Not likely. You enjoyed a very fortunate purchase, probably based upon your good taste. I recently purchased a small, Andre Bongibaud lithograph at an auction on a short Baja Mexico cruise for $40. The piece later appraised for 1150. Yes, you read that right. Forty bucks to One Thousand One Hundred Fifty. Now, the reasons why I got a great deal:
a) I liked the piece and no one else did. The piece is not selling on their cruises.
b) Andre Bongibaud was not truly discovered until a few months after I had taken the cruise. Park West likes to go around, find unknowns and suddenly they get discovered.
c) Like you, I have great taste!
Most of the pieces available on board are indeed, inflated at the initial bid. Many of them can be purchased far cheaper at home from a good framer, or art dealer. On board, If you have a tough auctioneer, and most of them are genuinely interested in art and well educated on the subject, you won't get away with anything...but occasionally, you'll find an auctioneer, willing to let a lesser piece "go for a song" just to get people bidding...I suspect that is what happened in my case...I got the room going with my forty dollar steal and that's when the bidding really started...he made up for any money he might have lost on my little litho....many times over in fact.
I hope this helps to answer your question and that you will keep going to the art auctions... Personally, I think they are a lot of fun and I have made many lasting friends over the years just by having the art there in front of me to talk about with total strangers....these total strangers have become good friends who still remember my birthday!
p.s. My boyfriend and I are going on Celeb. Century on 1/12/02. Is that the cruise you folks are on? If so, I want to buy drinks for the Marine on watch and his wife.
Thanks ever so much for the info. I wish we were sailing with you cause it would be great to meet you. However, we are sailing on the Galaxy, Dec 14, 2001. Thanks for the kind words....you make an old Marine blush..... Only the best to you and yours.
Rick and Deb
Hi Rick and Deb,
I'm sorry you won't be on our cruise, but as nice as you are, I have no doubt that you will make many friends...Enjoy the auctions...
I have heard that the Celebrity ships have amazing collections of art on board....I've never been on Celebrity before and I can't wait...I'm trying to be patient and go to work and do my normal thing, but it's really hard once you've actually booked your cruise...I'm coming out there from Nevada and it was tough to get a good airline deal!!! The prices are just outrageous....anywhere from 4-600 for airfare, but after much diligent searching, I was able to get the fare down to 260.
I looked at the pictures of the Galaxy in my brochure...WOW, is all I can say...beauty she is!!! I've been on other cruises, mostly Royal Caribbean: Viking Serenade, Rhapsody of the Seas, Nordic Empress and then I was also on the Norway last February....
Side note: Anybody who enjoys "old stuff" should try the Norway....just try to ignore all the hand-to-mouth eating that goes on....I loved the Norway and had a wonderful time on that ship....it's old and kind of classic and I've been seeing many great deals for that ship for Jan/Feb from 200 pp. for seven days...
One more note on art and then I'll stop rambling: Some of the best artwork can be found in port. When I was on the Norway last February, I found an art gallery in Phillipsburg, St. Maarten and I bought a beautiful antique print for 80 dollars. I have no idea how much it is worth, but I loved the peice anyway and don't care what it's worth....it's an island scene of Caribs fishing in the local waters and in the background is the coastline with two palm trees. If you look closely, you'll see that the palm trees are male and female !!! Kinda neat!!!
Have fun on the Galaxy .....see you around these boards...always glad to make a new friend!
Really nice reply, Suzanne, and a terrific perspective on the art auction biz. I guess the real secret (as with anything else you buy) is to know the market, which you obviously do.
I did hear an interesting take some years ago from someone heavily involved with "art as investement." He said that if something is under $500, and you can afford it, and you REALLY like it, you should probably buy it, not because it's necessarily worth the price, but because you want to have it in your home and want to look at it. He went on to say that anything over $500 should be the product of reasonable research and comparison shopping, because at that point you're really talking about an investment, even if you love it. This was one man's opinion, and it was several years ago, so if you buy the concept I guess you'd have to inflation- adjust the $500 a bit.
We've never bought art on a ship, because we don't trust ourselves in an auction enviornment where we don't really know the market, but I've always thought the advice of the investment guy had some merit.
Thanks for your note! I agree with your friend and I think the five hundred threshold still applies even in todays inflation market....I think that is extremely sound advice....
On board, I've heard people make jokes about the "poster auctions"...if nothing else, it's a chance to see how an auction, any type, works....and it's a good excuse to have a glass of champagne!!
I have seen some people spend outrageous sums of money though on really awful stuff...One lady, on my last cruise, bid over 800 dollars on a peice that wasn't worth forty FRAMED! I think if she loves it and she has the money, she should do it, I guess, but I hope she didn't believe that it would actually be worth that much....For most of us, myself included, bidding that kind of money better be worth it!!!
I just like art, and I have fun seeing the art at the auctions and meeting people....If I see something I like, and it's less than two hundred (my maximum!!!) I'll bid on it, but only if I can't live without it.....
There are art auctions on Celebrity lines also. I don't know who runs them. It might sometimes be possible to get a good deal, but it's unlikely. Most art on the ship are lithographs, some are signed by the artist. Those are usually worth more.
Exactly right AR. In all my years of cruising I've bought two works, neither one of which cost over $200. I never bothered having them appraised because I really enjoy them. On the other hand I do coillect modern art and I use a dealer since he knows his stuff and I don't get taken to the cleaners.
f you love modern art, as I do use any Celebrity ship as an art gallery. My best friend is a successful artist. He was asked to paint something for the Infinity, but he was right in the heart of painting 3 huge murals for the British Airlines departure terminal at Kennedy Airport ans simply didn't have the time.
Yes , Park West Galleries holds art auctions on all te Celebrity ships. I found them entertaining and ended up buying four pieces I am very happy with. The appraisals are indeed inflated, but if you can get an item for less than 50% of the appraisal, and you really like it for your home, you will probably make out okay.