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Rules versus play in early modern art market


  • Neil DE MARCHI

    (Duke University, Durham, USA)


    (Duke University, Durham, USA)


The paper identifies and tries to account for the forms taken in selected art markets for the selling of paintings, as a response to specific features and constraints in the local regulatory environment. Our analytical historics cover 15"' century Bruges, 16th century Antwerp, 17"' century Amsterdam, and early 18"' century London and Paris. They yield some evidence that : (1) restrictive guilds did not succeed in stifling innovation, though innovators were forcecl to take indirect routes and to adopt forms not always the most efficient; (2) where circumstances allowed a choice of auction form (English or Dutch) the method selected matched the prior expérience of buyers (low or high respectively) ; and (3) in the single instance where guilds were open to cooperation across skill catégories this coincided with a series of marketing experiments and a range of novel products.

Suggested Citation

  • Neil DE MARCHI & Hans J. VAN MIEGROET, 2000. "Rules versus play in early modern art market," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 2000023, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  • Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvre:2000023

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    Cited by:

    1. Elisabetta Lazzaro & Nathalie Moureau, 2013. "Auctioneers vs. commissaires-priseurs: The carnival mirror of profession regulation in the international art market," European Journal of Comparative Economics, Cattaneo University (LIUC), vol. 10(2), pages 159-176, August.
    2. Erwin Dekker, 2015. "Two approaches to study the value of art and culture, and the emergence of a third," Journal of Cultural Economics, Springer;The Association for Cultural Economics International, vol. 39(4), pages 309-326, November.

    More about this item


    Regulation; Institutions; Markets;

    JEL classification:

    • D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
    • D4 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design
    • L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance


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