Last year saw yet more records broken in the modern-art world. When Will You Marry?, a painting by Paul Gauguin of two Tahitian girls, became the most expensive work of art ever sold when it was bought by a museum in Qatar for $300m. Picasso’s Women of Algiers notched up a new record for a painting sold at auction after making over $179m, while Reclining Nude by Modigliani was not far behind, going under the hammer for $170m to a buyer from Shanghai.
However, our overall art index rose by a muted 4% as other genres fared less well during the year. Classic cars were again the top performing investment of passion with annual growth of 17%. The Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index tracks the performance of 10 investments of passion and always makes for fascinating reading. With a Hong Kong businessman also paying the top price ever achieved for a piece of jewellery – the Blue Moon diamond – last year, UHNWI hunger to collect the world’s most desirable objects seems stronger than ever.
Our new Luxury Spending Index compiled by Wealth-X reveals how trends vary around the world. Football teams have always been considered an investment of passion, with the emphasis on the passion rather than the investment. But huge new TV rights deals mean that clubs are beginning to look like a viable alternative asset class for UHNWIs seeking to diversify their portfolios, according to one industry expert. Read our article An investment of two halves and see if you agree.