Warhols for Fast Cash: Why Collectors are Pawning Expensive Art

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It has to be said that being “cash-poor”—meaning you’ve got a lot of assets, but very little wealth in spendable form—is, despite its negative connotations, a position of incredible privilege. Most often you’ll hear about it in relation to celebrities as the reason for a house flip or sale of a beloved Lamborghini. But surprising as it may seem, gallery owners, art collectors and even artists mind find themselves in that position as well. These are Jordan Tabach-Bank’s sort of people: “The kid’s tuition needs to be paid, the property tax is due, there is a divorce settlement…You don’t have the money, but you have that Picasso.”

Tabach-Bank is chief executive officer of The Loan Companies, which has offices in Beverly Hills, California, Chicago and right on 47th Street in Manhattan’s Diamond District. Along with jewelry and watches he specializes in giving quick cash for high-value works of art. Bring in that Picasso, walk out with a check.

Tabach-Bank is by no means the only pawnbroker—yep, even in the luxury world it’s still called pawnbroking—who lends cash against high-value artwork and, in fact, the past 20 years have seen a growing number of pawn shops around the country going upscale to capture a market that might best be described as the One Percent.

Read Full Article at Observer