Webb’s latest publication continues with its argument that statistics are the way to the hearts of collectors. Again it's Bill Hammond who wears the stat hat with a timeline of his auction prices marching through the ages, well from 1996 to 2009 at least. In dollar terms we’re talking from $326,250.00 to $322,000.00 with a work that sold for $316,250.00 in the middle. But you know statistics. At a loose end? Try putting the numbers through an inflation calculator and a somewhat different story emerges. In today's dollars the 1996 painting is Fortified Gang Headquarters and adjusted would be worth $477,324 and the 2009 painting Farmer’s Market worth $355,957. So good news for Hammond buyers, though maybe for investors, not so much. In its next auction Webb’s have a classic 1996 painting Searching for Ashburton on the block with an estimate of $220,000 - $280,000. Sounds pretty impressive but go in reverse and put it into 1996 inflation adjusted figures (have these people nothing better to do with their time?) and you're looking at $150,000 to $190,000. You can play games with inflation here on the Reserve Bank site.