Gerald Reitlinger, in his 1963 book, “The Economics of Taste,” wrote that back in 1937, when 18th-century French furniture was all the rage with the ultrawealthy, a desk by Carlin sold for 8,000 pounds, or about $700,000 in today’s money. That same year, a Cubist still life by Picasso failed to sell at auction for £105, according to Reitlinger.
Here is more from Scott Reyburn at the NYT. Will Warhol prices be the big loser, as future generations lose interest in images of Elvis, Elizabeth Taylor, Mao? At the moment the less identifiable iconography of Basquiat seems to be holding up better, at least in the eyes of the market.