is a relatively unexplored area of financial
exchange that exists at the edges of the regular financial industry. Investment in art
has been an accepted form of deposit investment for several decades such as the purchase of works by Matisse
, Van Gogh
. However these works only have an assured value as long as there is a restricted supply of works on the open market - ie the artist is dead or producing small numbers of works and that the authenticity of works can be verified by a small number of sources. In the case of contemporary artists it is the interest of collectors and therefore dealers to ensure a tightly controlled line of supply.
The intricacies of artworld economics were exposed by the Rothko Case against Marlborough Fine Art brought by the family of Mark Rothko during the 1970s.