We investigated whether the sale price of artworks can be estimated, a priori, based on objective key factors, and whether the estimation prices by auction houses are representative of the final hammer price. The hypothesis that the price of works of art can be explained exclusively by a number of pre-established variables is rejected. A positive correlation is observed between estimated and final prices, but the latter is usually underestimated. Financial models are not always fully effective in assessing prices, since products are often represented by ‘unique pieces’ and their markets work differently than the standard markets represented in the financial model. The research suggests that non-financial factors such as aesthetics can prevail over economic factors in forecasting the prices of artworks.
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