The oil on canvas, A River Landscape with Farm Houses, 23 x 2ft 5in (58.5 x 73.5cm), was deemed too large and the collector did not pursue a purchase. Roll forward 12 months and Steigrad was back at Maastricht. He hadn’t sold the painting and decided to bring it just in case.
Just before closing on the first day, the collector returned to the stand and asked if Steigrad still had it. “The collector said she had been thinking about it all year. So I said she was in luck as it was hanging in our closet at the fair – it had been vetted but was not on display. She spent half an hour looking at it again and decided 10 minutes before closing to buy it.”
This isn’t unusual for dealers. According to the latest Art Basel and UBS Global The Art Market 2018 report published last month, more than two years was a common answer when dealers were asked how long it took to sell an artwork from their inventory.
The period of between six and 12 months had the most responses at 29%, and the second highest was longer than two years with 20%.