My theory is this: the price of old master portraiture is pegged to another commodity with comparable interest for billionaires. The last time Botticelli’s painting was sold at auction, in 1982, it went for £810,000, then the going price of the most coveted footballer. Today, a Premier League star with flowing locks and a roundel under his arm – Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish, say – would still cost an interested oligarch the same as a Botticelli. Sotheby’s transfer window opens in January.
The correct observation to draw from this being look how governments have lowered the value of money over that time period.