Marie Antoinette Chair Sells for a Record US$2.8 Million - Kanebridge News
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Marie Antoinette Chair Sells for a Record US$2.8 Million

By Eric Grossman
Fri, Dec 15, 2023 11:18amGrey Clock 2 min

A royal chair created for the boudoir of Marie Antoinette achieved €2.6 million (US$2.8 million) Thursday evening at Sotheby’s in Paris, setting a record for a single 18th-century chair.

The sale was the first in a series of four physical and online auctions being held this month featuring the collection of the late Hubert Guerrand-Hermès, a fifth-generation descendant of Thierry Hermès, founder of the French luxury house.

“Tonight’s sale was a celebration of prestigious provenance, as the undeniable response to Hubert Guerrand-Hermès’ eye for collecting showcased the continued demand for the most elevated world of refinement,” Mario Tavella, president of Sotheby’s France and chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said in a news release.

The Louis XVI gilt walnut chair, made circa 1784-85, ignited a “flurry of bidding,” according to Tavella. It was one of 60 pieces sold on Thursday for a total of nearly €23 million, with fees, triple a pre-sale high estimate of nearly €9 million (which did not include fees). More than 80% of lots sold for more than their high estimates.

Guerrand-Hermès was a passionate, wide-ranging collector. The 1,000-plus items being auctioned across the four sales span centuries and include royal furniture and rare books in addition to works by contemporary artists such as Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor.

Collectors appeared drawn to Guerrand-Hermès’ diverse tastes, fiercely bidding as much for the contemporary art as the 18th-century furniture, according to Tavella.

While the record-setting, carved, and regilded Louis XVI chair—which was thought to have been created for Queen Marie-Antoinette’s intimate personal rooms at Versailles—stole the headlines, the top lot of the evening was a monochrome canvas by Pierre Soulages, Painting 130 x 162 cm, February 28, 1970, which sold for €3.1 million —the highest price for a 1970s work by the French artist. Guerrand-Hermès had bought the painting at a Sotheby’s Paris auction nearly 14 years ago for €720,750

Guerrand-Hermès, who died in 2016 at the age of 75, had been vice chairman of Emile Hermès SARL, which represents the family shareholders, and general manager of the group’s real estate companies. He also served as a foreign trade adviser to the French government and was made an officer of France’s Legion of Honor in 1999.

The Guerrand-Hermès auctions will continue this week with a focus on the Duchesse de Berry—described by Sotheby’s as “one of the most famous and fascinating aristocratic figures of the 19th century.”



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These stocks are getting hit for a reason. Instead, focus on stocks that show ‘relative strength.’ Here’s how.

By KEN SHREVE
Wed, Jun 12, 2024 4 min

A lot of investors get stock-picking wrong before they even get started: Instead of targeting the top-performing stocks in the market, they focus on the laggards—widely known companies that look as if they are on sale after a period of stock-price weakness.

But these weak performers usually are going down for good reasons, such as for deteriorating sales and earnings, market-share losses or mutual-fund managers who are unwinding positions.

Decades of Investor’s Business Daily research shows these aren’t the stocks that tend to become stock-market leaders. The stocks that reward investors with handsome gains for months or years are more often  already  the strongest price performers, usually because of outstanding earnings and sales growth and increasing fund ownership.

Of course, many investors already chase performance and pour money into winning stocks. So how can a discerning investor find the winning stocks that have more room to run?

Enter “relative strength”—the notion that strength begets more strength. Relative strength measures stocks’ recent performance relative to the overall market. Investing in stocks with high relative strength means going with the winners, rather than picking stocks in hopes of a rebound. Why bet on a last-place team when you can wager on the leader?

One of the easiest ways to identify the strongest price performers is with IBD’s Relative Strength Rating. Ranked on a scale of 1-99, a stock with an RS rating of 99 has outperformed 99% of all stocks based on 12-month price performance.

How to use the metric

To capitalise on relative strength, an investor’s search should be focused on stocks with RS ratings of at least 80.

But beware: While the goal is to buy stocks that are performing better than the overall market, stocks with the highest RS ratings aren’t  always  the best to buy. No doubt, some stocks extend rallies for years. But others will be too far into their price run-up and ready to start a longer-term price decline.

Thus, there is a limit to chasing performance. To avoid this pitfall, investors should focus on stocks that have strong relative strength but have seen a moderate price decline and are just coming out of weeks or months of trading within a limited range. This range will vary by stock, but IBD research shows that most good trading patterns can show declines of up to one-third.

Here, a relative strength line on a chart may be helpful for confirming an RS rating’s buy signal. Offered on some stock-charting tools, including IBD’s, the line is a way to visualise relative strength by comparing a stock’s price performance relative to the movement of the S&P 500 or other benchmark.

When the line is sloping upward, it means the stock is outperforming the benchmark. When it is sloping downward, the stock is lagging behind the benchmark. One reason the RS line is helpful is that the line can rise even when a stock price is falling, meaning its value is falling at a slower pace than the benchmark.

A case study

The value of relative strength could be seen in Google parent Alphabet in January 2020, when its RS rating was 89 before it started a 10-month run when the stock rose 64%. Meta Platforms ’ RS rating was 96 before the Facebook parent hit new highs in March 2023 and ran up 65% in four months. Abercrombie & Fitch , one of 2023’s best-performing stocks, had a 94 rating before it soared 342% in nine months starting in June 2023.

Those stocks weren’t flukes. In a study of the biggest stock-market winners from the early 1950s through 2008, the average RS rating of the best performers before they began their major price runs was 87.

To see relative strength in action, consider Nvidia . The chip stock was an established leader, having shot up 365% from its October 2022 low to its high of $504.48 in late August 2023.

But then it spent the next four months rangebound—giving up some ground, then gaining some back. Through this period, shares held between $392.30 and the August peak, declining no more than 22% from top to bottom.

On Jan. 8, Nvidia broke out of its trading range to new highs. The previous session, Nvidia’s RS rating was 97. And that week, the stock’s relative strength line hit new highs. The catalyst: Investors cheered the company’s update on its latest advancements in artificial intelligence.

Nvidia then rose 16% on Feb. 22 after the company said earnings for the January-ended quarter soared 486% year over year to $5.16 a share. Revenue more than tripled to $22.1 billion. It also significantly raised its earnings and revenue guidance for the quarter that was to end in April. In all, Nvidia climbed 89% from Jan. 5 to its March 7 close.

And the stock has continued to run up, surging past $1,000 a share in late May after the company exceeded that guidance for the April-ended quarter and delivered record revenue of $26 billion and record net profit of $14.88 billion.

Ken Shreve  is a senior markets writer at Investor’s Business Daily. Follow him on X  @IBD_KShreve  for more stock-market analysis and insights, or contact him at  ken.shreve@investors.com .