Christian Levett

I went to a conversation tonight between the PRA and Christian Levett, the hedge fund trader and collector of antiquities.   Levett talked more openly and more engagingly than anyone I have heard about the psychology of collecting:  how he started as a child collecting Roman coins and modern medals in his home town of Southend;  moved into becoming a commodities trader in the City in the early 1990s and then an early hedge fund manager;  he mentioned casually that he would earn fees of 20% on deals worth over £1 billion, which left quite a bit of money to invest in antiquities;  he realised from auction catalogues that it was possible to buy antiquities relatively cheaply;  and amassed so many that he opened his own museum in Mougins in the south of France.   What he made clear was how the psychology was the same in the two fields:  a knowledge of the market;  a certain steely determination (he refused to buy works which were overpriced);  and decisions which were motivated by passion and instinct as much as calculation.

Standard

One thought on “Christian Levett

  1. bibleofbritishtaste says:

    You can read more about him and see a photo of him with one of his favourite pieces in my book, Owning the Past.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s