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900 Year Old Pot Surprises Auctioneers
small green pot

900 Year Old Pot Surprises Auctioneers

When an elderly couple passed away, relatives came in to clear out their home.  Everything had to go, so they had a local auction house come in to value the contents. A small crackled celadon green pot/bowl (5 inches tall) … More…

Misrepresentation & Deception – The Auction World At Its Worst!
image of Corot

Misrepresentation & Deception – The Auction World At Its Worst!

(The names were changed, well removed, to protect the innocent and guilty) On September 8th, I received an email stating: Hello ~ Recently acquired what is being claimed as a JBCCorot painting. I have a small window within which to … More…

Dancing with Death On The Colorful Canvas: A Snapshot Of Art During Our Plague
image of a man with a skeleton face

Dancing with Death On The Colorful Canvas: A Snapshot Of Art During Our Plague

In this age of Covid and lockdowns, online classes and mask mandates, one cannot help but contemplate the other great plagues that have, to put it at its mildest, ruined everyone’s plans. The Black Death ravaged Europe and Asia from … More…

David Drake Jar Breaks Record
a jar

David Drake Jar Breaks Record

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is the proud new owner of a David Drake poem jar, the highlight of Crocker Farms Summer auction. Drake, born in 1801, was a leading African American artist from South Carolina and has become … More…

Double-Theft: Nazi Art Loot In The 21st Century
a village town scene

Double-Theft: Nazi Art Loot In The 21st Century

Last Friday, August 20th, the Jewish Museum in New York opened its latest exhibit, called “Afterlives”. It shows more than 50 works by Picasso, Chagall, Cézanne, Courbet, and others, telling the stories of their restitution after being stolen from Jewish … More…

Big City Scammer Gets Nabbed
fake artifacts

Big City Scammer Gets Nabbed

Earlier this month, New York antiquities dealer Mehrad Sadigh was arrest and charged with scheming to defraud, grand larceny, criminal possession of a forged instrument, forgery and criminal simulation. Mehrad has pleaded not guilty to all charges. After being alerted … More…

To Shill, Or Not To Shill, That Is The Question!
picture of pwcc logo

To Shill, Or Not To Shill, That Is The Question!

As you know, I have been reporting for years now on the prices of trading cards and how crazy the auction prices have gotten; now, it seems that all may not be as it appeared. Last week the news broke … More…

Will The Jewels Ever Be Recovered?
Jewel

Will The Jewels Ever Be Recovered?

Back in 2019, we reported on a jewelry theft in Dresden. A group of thieves started a fire that destroyed an electricity box near the Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault – a museum founded in 1723) which, in turn, affected the … More…

Guess Everyone Wants A Van Gogh – I Know I Do!
a beach scene with figures and boats

Guess Everyone Wants A Van Gogh – I Know I Do!

On August 4th, Raffaele Imperiale (one of Italy’s most notorious crime bosses), was arrested in Dubai. The Italian government had been searching for him since 2016 for alleged money laundering and international drug trafficking as part of organized crime activity. … More…

Titian’s Women: Applying Modern Social Norms To The Renaissance
A woman and animals in a landacpe

Titian’s Women: Applying Modern Social Norms To The Renaissance

In 1896, Boston socialite and art collector Isabella Stewart Gardner purchased Titian’s Rape of Europa from the Earl of Darnley. Bought for $100,000 (or about $3.2 million today), it was considered the museum’s greatest painting in an American collection. For … More…

Coming Close To Losing Your Marbles
view of the Elgin Marbles at the British Museum

Coming Close To Losing Your Marbles

It may be a bit of a stereotype that London is a gray, rainy mass straddling the Thames. However, London was hit with some particularly heavy rain in the last week of July, to the point that parts the British … More…

Getting High With Van Gogh
portrait of van Gogh

Getting High With Van Gogh

According to a few recent articles, Happy Munky (who claims to be “the heart of New York Cannabis”) has teamed up with the Immersive Van Gogh Exhibit to create two weed nights (August 11 and 18 – I know, we … More…

Sotheby’s: Buy At Your Own Risk, We Do Not Sell At Our Own Risk
front entrance to sotheby's

Sotheby’s: Buy At Your Own Risk, We Do Not Sell At Our Own Risk

Well this is certainly an interesting one… as I am sure many of you know, buying at auction is inherently risky – condition issues may not be disclosed, there may be gaps in provenance which obscure proper ownership, and works … More…

Gulbenkian, Case Closed!
Tales from the dark side

Gulbenkian, Case Closed!

Tales From the Dark Side: UPDATE In two previous posts, we covered the criminal activities of Angela Gulbenkian. See here and here for a refresher. Gulbenkian has been held in a Lisbon jail since December 2020 after evading UK authorities. … More…

Museums & Galleries In British Columbia Duped
a fish

Museums & Galleries In British Columbia Duped

Recent news reports revealed that British Columbian art dealer Steve Hoffman, based in Langley, has been supplying fake indigenous art to Canadian museums and art galleries. The works, supposedly by artist Harvey John, have been on the market for years. … More…

British & European Art: Christie’s, London
young girl seated with a flower in her hand

British & European Art: Christie’s, London

On July 15th, Christie’s presented a big sale of British and European art, which faired a little better than their competition’s. While things opening up in the UK helped bring in more material, the problem still seems to be sourcing … More…

Sotheby’s Attempt At A European & British Sale
a landscape with snow covered mountains

Sotheby’s Attempt At A European & British Sale

Auction rooms need to start paying attention to what works and what does not. Putting together a large sale of ‘nothing too great’ is just not going to cut it today. On July 14th, Sotheby’s presented one of these sales. … More…

A Better Day For The Old Masters – Christie’s
a view of Verona

A Better Day For The Old Masters – Christie’s

On July 8th, Christie’s presented their Old Master evening sale, and this one did just a little better than their main competitor’s.  My only question for the saleroom is: why did you put a Burne-Jones in this sale?  Burne-Jones was … More…

B.J. Eastwood Collection – Christie’s
horses running through a ladnscape

B.J. Eastwood Collection – Christie’s

This month, Christie’s presented a small sale (30 works) featuring sporting and Irish art from the collection of B.J. Eastwood. Eastwood, who passes away last year, acquired most of the works decades ago. This was a perfect storm; a collection … More…

Harrison Ford’s Fine Fedora
brown felt fedora from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom movie

Harrison Ford’s Fine Fedora

Do you fantasize about living the life of a movie star? Maybe go back in time or take a leap into the future; or perhaps be as fearless as some of the great action heroes in your favorite movie? Well, … More…

Size Does Not Always Matter
sketch of a bear's head by Leonardo da Vinci

Size Does Not Always Matter

Christie’s London celebrated the classics this week as they auctioned antiquities through 20th-century works of art and an assortment of other objects. A highlight of Classic Week  was included in their Exceptional Sale, which focused on European decorative arts as … More…

Picasso & Mondrian Recovered
female-head

Picasso & Mondrian Recovered

The city of Athens is celebrating the recovery of two important stolen paintings. On January 9, 2012, it was believed that a gang broke into the National Gallery in Athens, stealing Head of a Woman by Pablo Picasso, Stammer Windmill … More…

Old Masters – Sotheby’s, London
marine painting featuring ships in a rough sea

Old Masters – Sotheby’s, London

It is Old Master week in London, and the action started at Sotheby’s with their evening sale, which began at 6 pm, so it was an actual evening sale. The sale consisted of 50 lots, and the top work was … More…

20th/21st Century: Christie’s London Evening Sale
2 abstract figures

20th/21st Century: Christie’s London Evening Sale

Following Sotheby’s lead, Christie’s presented their evening sale (which started at 2 pm London time, breakfast time in New York) on the 30th. As with Sotheby’s, this was a mixed sale of works ranging from 19th-century Impressionist to living artists. … More…