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Auction Prices of Classical Music Manuscripts – A Hedonic Approach

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  • Patrick Georges

    ()
    (Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON)

  • Aylin Seçkin

    ()
    (Istanbul Bilgi University, Istanbul, Turkey)

Abstract

The literature on art auctions has overlooked the market for classical music manuscripts and this paper explores, for the first time, the determinants of “hammer” prices for about 360 classical music manuscripts auctioned at Sotheby’s (London) during the 1998-2009 period. We use hedonic price regressions in order to explain the price of classical music manuscripts by several characteristics. The paper shows that the “trace” of the composer (e.g., whether the manuscript is fully or partly in the hand of the composer or in a scribal hand), the artistic value of the composition, the number of pages, the period (Baroque, Classical, etc.), and of course the name of the composer and the relative scarcity of his manuscripts, are all characteristics that contribute to explain the hammer price of these manuscripts. However, parameter estimates for characteristics such as the type of music (Symphony, Opera, etc.) and whether the manuscript is the complete work or some fragment (say, one movement) are not statistically significant. The paper also estimates a hedonic price index that provides a measure of the average returns and (high) risk of collecting and investing in music manuscripts.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Ottawa, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 1202E.

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Length: 38 pages
Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ott:wpaper:1202e

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Related research

Keywords: Art Auctions; Classical Music Manuscripts; Hedonic Price Regression; Economics of Classical Music.;

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  1. Jianping Mei & Michael Moses, 2002. "Art as an Investment and the Underperformance of Masterpieces," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1656-1668, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Esmeralda Ramalho & Joquim Ramalho, 2014. "Convenient links for the estimation of hedonic price indexes:the case of unique, infrequently traded assets," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2014_01, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).

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