Posted April 19, 2001.
The Art Sales Index CD-ROM 2001 contains over 1.23 million auction sales results for paintings, prints, works on paper, sculptures, miniatures, and photographs by 145,000 artists of all nationalities and all time periods that sold at many thousands of art auctions held internationally from January 1990 through December 2000. Each entry contains the artist's name, birth and death dates (when available), nationality, century when active, title or description of the art, medium, dimensions, auctioneer, date of sale, lot number, selling price (in pounds, dollars, and currency of the country where the sale took place), and a notation as to whether the piece illustrated in the sale catalogue.
One big advantage of the ASI CD-ROM 2001 over similar products is its multiple search and arranging capabilities. Searches can be performed and results arranged according to a variety of criteria including artist name, dates, title or description of the art, dimensions, medium, the year a work of art was created, and more. The best option, however, is that the database can be searched even when an artist's complete name is not known. Letters or groups of letters that are indecipherable in an artist's signature can be typed in as either question marks or asterisks. For example, a search typed in as *icasso* will yield 4,430 sales results for Picasso in about 15 seconds on a reasonably fast computer.
Another advantage of this CD-ROM is that it can easily be used on multiple computers including laptops (for when you're away from your home or office). Competing products have security mechanisms that can make usage on more than one computer anywhere from inconvenient to impossible. Unfortunately, Art Sales Index CD-ROM 2001 is not Macintosh friendly. Perhaps the designers will iron out that problem in coming years-- at least to the point of being able to insure compatibility with PC-emulating programs for Macintosh like Virtual PC.
Those of you who prefer online art price research can use ASI's Art Auction Results database. It's the largest online art price database, contains more than 2.3 million sales records from tens of thousands of auctions that have taken place since 1950, and is updated daily with the latest art auction results from around the world. Art Auction Results database is perfect for dealers and collectors who constantly research art prices, research while travelling, and need up-to-the-minute information. Subscription options for using the database can also make it more economical than competing products. For example, if you're willing to work online during off-peak hours (between 7 PM and 7 AM weekdays and all day Saturday and Sunday), you can perform unlimited searches for only $375 per year.
An additional benefit of this database, which contains price results for 193,000 artists, is that it includes 260,000 different name spellings so that in instances where an artist's name is spelled incorrectly in different catalogues, all spellings are directed towards the correctly spelled name. For example, records for Mihail, Michail, Michel, Michael, and Mikael Chemiakin all appear under the same artist, Mikhail Chemiakin.
Art Sales Index CD-ROM 2001 edited by Duncan Hislop. Art Sales Index, Ltd., Egham, Surrey, England, 2001. $375.
Art Auction Results online database edited by Duncan Hislop. Art Sales Index, Ltd., Egham, Surrey, England, 2001. $750 per year for unlimited anytime searches. $375 per year for unlimited searches between 7 PM and 7 AM Monday through Friday with no restrictions on weekends. Monthly and pay-per-use subscriptions are also available.
Order from Art Sales Index Ltd, 194, Thorpe Lea Road, Egham, Surrey, TW20 8HA, UK. Interested parties may also call 011 44 (0)1784 451145, fax: 44 (0)1784 451144, send an email to email@example.com, or order directly from the Art Sales Index website.
REFERENCE BOOK FOR PASTEL COLLECTORS
Creating art with colored chalks was quite popular during the early part of this century. The most prolific artists produced hundreds of pictures during their careers. For years, information about these artists was hard to come by even though many people avidly collected their pictures. This information deficit has ended with the publication of The Power of Pastels by June Rhode. The combination book and price guide contains over 120 representative color photographs of pastels by artists like Chandler, Gunderson, Glatthaar, Linder, Braley, and others. Images of unsigned pastels, pastels with illegible signatures, and unusual pastels are also included.
All illustrations include dimensions, comments on quality, notations of stamps or writings on the backs of the pieces, and other helpful incidental information. Every pastel is pictured in its frame and mat which helps readers understand how these works of art were originally displayed. Biographical information, signature examples, and a handful of vintage portrait photographs are included for the more important artists. In researching her book, Rhode interviewed descendants of artists as well as dealers, and collectors, and, as a result, The Power of Pastels contains substantial amounts of previously unpublished data. The book also has information about shipping, pricing, and restoration of pastels. If you collect this type of art, The Power of Pastels is a wonderful resource and a definite must-have.
The Power of Pastels by June Rhode. House of Rhode Publishing Co., Egg Harbor, WI, 2000. Softbound, illustrated, 152 pages, 9 by 12 inches. $24.95 plus $3.95 shipping.
Available from House of Rhode Publishing Company, 6655 County Trunk G, Egg Harbor, WI 54209 or order directly from the company's website .
PHOTOGRAPH AUCTION RECORDS BOOK AND CD-ROM
Gordon's Photography Price Annual International 2001 is the world's leading guide to fine art photography prices at auction. The current edition contains over 12,000 sales results for 19th and 20th century photographs as well as for books and periodicals containing original photographs that sold worldwide at photography auctions during the year 2000. Each entry includes the name of the photographer, the image title, type of print, data about the negative and date of the printing, signature, date, condition, additional annotations (when applicable), auctioneer, catalogue number, and selling price. Image titles are arranged alphabetically under each artist, rather than from highest to lowest selling prices, which makes locating selling prices for particular titles easy. Prices are given in Dollars, Pounds, Euros, and currencies of countries where sales took place. Dimensions are given in inches and millimeters.
Dealers and serious collectors will be happy to know that photographs that failed to sell at auction (buy-ins) are included along with their presale estimates. For the uninitiated, buy-in data is important to have when researching works of art that are being offered to you for sale. For example, if you are offered a photograph for $5000 and find out in Gordon's Photography Price Annual International 2001 that it failed to sell nine months ago with a low reserve of $3000, you'll know not to buy because you're being offered previously shopped merchandise at an excessively high price.
For those of you who prefer researching photography prices on CD-ROM, Gordon's Photography Prices, 2001-1970, CD-ROM contains over 130,000 records of photographs sold primarily at auctions (along with some dealer prices) dating as far back as the 1930's (with the great majority taking place over the past ten years). This year's CD-ROM is faster, easier to install, and easier to use that those from previous years. Added bonuses are that buy-ins are included, whenever noted in an auction house's sales results, and over 7,000 photographs are illustrated. Not only does every annual update of this CD-ROM contain approximately 12,000 new auction records from the previous sales year, but thousands of additional records from sales held in past decades are also added. This CD-ROM represents the most comprehensive body of photographic price data available anywhere.
Gordon's Photography Price Annual International 2001 Edition edited by Lisa Reinhardt, Gordon's Art Reference, Inc., Phoenix, 2001, hardbound, 611 pages, 8 7/8 by 11 1/4, $125.
Gordon's Photography Prices, 2001-1970, CD-ROM edited by Lisa Reinhardt, Gordon's Art Reference, Inc., Phoenix, 2001. Initial subscription: $595. Subsequent annual updates: $195.
Available from Gordon's Art Reference, Inc., 306 West Coronado Road, Phoenix, AZ 85003-1147 or call 1-800-892-4622 or visit the Gordon's Art Reference website.