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Michael Plummer, a principal in the art advisory company Artvest Partners, insists that “anyone with half a brain and experience tries to be absolutely meticulous about sales tax. Anyone who isn’t, is just inviting trouble.”

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“We think the art market is cooling and becoming more selective even at the higher end which has, until now, appeared immune to negative economic and international news,” says Michael Plummer, principal of Artvest Partners and co-director of Spring Masters New York.

Artvest Partners (Michael Plummer, Jeff Rabin)

Michael Plummer and Jeff Rabin featured in the 2015 edition of Blouin ARTINFO 100 Power Innovators

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That warning, coming as it did before recent Chinese market turbulence, was prescient. But Jeff Rabin, a principal of the adviser Artvest and co-founder of the Spring Masters New York art fair, cautions against attaching too much significance to the near-record Modigliani, bought by a Chinese billionaire. “It was what one person was willing to pay for that painting on that particular day,” said Rabin, who’s a former trading executive at Barclays Global Investors.

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“Given the number of important works that did not sell and the magnitude of the guarantee, the results are disappointing,” says Jeff Rabin, principal at Artvest Partners.

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