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Birds Fly By Estimate
5 volume book of british birds

Birds Fly By Estimate

We are happy as larks to be presenting Taking Flight, an exhibition that benefits the American Bird Conservancy. As such, I thought it would be very apropos to find a recent auction item with a bird theme…I was successful! John … More…

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Day Sale – Not Enough Meat!
woman seated in a chair

Christie’s Impressionist & Modern Day Sale – Not Enough Meat!

On October 8th, Christie’s held their Impressionist & Modern Day Sale, and I am sure they were not very happy with the end result.  I have said this before, the auction rooms are flooding the market with material … some … More…

Mao Zedong Scroll Recovered, But Cut In Half
yellow scroll with text

Mao Zedong Scroll Recovered, But Cut In Half

Three people were arrested in connection to a September 10th burglary in Hong Kong that is said to be the most expensive heist in the region to date.  According to reports, the apartment of Fu Chunxiao, a well-known collector of … More…

Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale
dinosaur

Christie’s 20th Century Evening Sale

On October 7th, Christie’s presented their sale of 20th century works of art.  The title is a little misleading since the earliest lot was some 67 million years old, and there were 5 works from the 19th century.  As you … More…

You Said It, Not Me – Banksy Prints Sales at Sotheby’s & Christie’s
Girl With Balloon - Colour AP (purple)

You Said It, Not Me – Banksy Prints Sales at Sotheby’s & Christie’s

Last week, Sotheby’s and Christie’s hosted online sales of works by Banksy through their London locations… they were not originals, but prints; however, given his aura, they made some impressive prices. Before we get into it, I have to say … More…

Amazing What Technology Can Do – Facial Reconstruction
mummy with painted portrait

Amazing What Technology Can Do – Facial Reconstruction

In Greco-Roman times, mummy portraits were all the rage!  These painted portraits were placed over the embalmed face, and since the late 1880s, over 1000 portraits have been discovered. Sadly, only about 10% are still attached to the mummy. One … More…

When I Rains, It Pours – Marlborough Gallery
Tales from the dark side

When I Rains, It Pours – Marlborough Gallery

Marlborough Gallery is caught up in another legal matter. Prosecutors in France have charged the gallery and their director of Asian arts, Philippe Koutouzis, with bribery.  They are claiming that Jean-Paul Desroches (retired curator from the Guimet Museum) received “compensation” … More…

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All”
boxed set of Pokemon cards

“Gotta Catch ‘Em All”

If the current market for the sale of collectible cards has taught us anything, it’s DO NOT OPEN the boxes or packs…or buy two, one to open, one to save. A Pokémon First Edition Base Card Booster Set, produced in … More…

You Sue Me, I Sue You!
Tales from the dark side

You Sue Me, I Sue You!

It is unfortunate to see how fast things can spiral out of control. Marlborough, one of New York’s top galleries, decided to close its doors in June (Marlborough Gallery, Veteran New York Enterprise, to Close Amid Expansion Effort) after a … More…

Anonymity May Not Be A Good Thing
man with mask and flowers

Anonymity May Not Be A Good Thing

Banksy’s trademark might be at risk after he lost a case against Full Colour Black (a Gaffiti and Street Art greeting card company that reproduces his work).  According to a couple of recent articles (listed below), “[i]n 2014, Banksy’s representatives, … More…

Spectacles See Far Beyond Estimate
gold rim glasses

Spectacles See Far Beyond Estimate

Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948), a lawyer and activist for Indian civil rights, was best known for his leadership of the peaceful resistance movement that lead to India’s independence from British rule. Over the years, some items once belonging to … More…

Dora Maar To Get $450k Face Lift
painting of a woman in green and yellow

Dora Maar To Get $450k Face Lift

20-year-old Spanish architecture student Shakeel Ryan Massey will spend 18 months behind bars for a destructive stunt pulled on December 28th of last year. Massey, while visiting the Tate Modern, punched a hole through the protective glass in front of … More…

Three Strikes And You Are Out!
painting of two boys and a mug of beer

Three Strikes And You Are Out!

It seems that Frans Hals’s Two Laughing Boys with a Mug of Beer, in the collection of the Hofje van Aerden museum in Leerdam, has now been stolen for the third time.  I personally think the phrase “three strikes and … More…

Christie’s and Sotheby’s Race Through the Summer – Online Auction Recap
Francis Bacon - Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus

Christie’s and Sotheby’s Race Through the Summer – Online Auction Recap

As the summer of social distancing comes to a close, I thought we could take a look at the auction arena as a whole and what has been going on… it seems the two big houses finally caught up on … More…

American Art – Christie’s
faces of two young girls

American Art – Christie’s

More than a month later (August 7th), Christie’s presented their American painting sale … and overall, this one was far less successful. The most expensive lot in the sale was Mary Cassatt’s Two Little Sisters that brought $420K ($519 w/p … More…

The American Market – Sotheby’s
landscape with horse

The American Market – Sotheby’s

At the end of June, Sotheby’s offered a selection of American paintings from the 19th and 20th centuries.  As you will soon see, the sale performed reasonably well. (w/p = with buyer’s premium) Taking the top spot was Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s Abraham … More…

Betting Big Pays Off
Baseball card, man in red and white, blue signature

Betting Big Pays Off

So, here is the follow-up I promised regarding the Mile Trout rookie card that came up for auction this month. After the LeBron James card set a record last month when it sold for $1.8M, it really didn’t take long … More…

Location, Location, Location
yellow, gold vase

Location, Location, Location

What is the difference between Thing 1  and Thing 2? I honestly believe there is only one really big difference, but I will get to that shortly.  First, let’s go over what I think are the similarities.  Both were produced by … More…

Charging More — Give Me A Break!
charging more

Charging More — Give Me A Break!

Not sure how I missed this one.  In May, Sotheby’s announced the following: As of August 1, 2020, Sotheby’s will be implementing a new fee – an Overhead Premium – payable  by all auction buyers in our global salesrooms and … More…

Seized Business Records Uncover Looted Indian Antiquities
8th-century sandstone panel depicting an equestrian deity

Seized Business Records Uncover Looted Indian Antiquities

$1.15 million worth of looted antiques from India are to be returned after they were recovery by the antiques trafficking unit in New York City. In total, the objects include ten antiquities that were recovered during a series of raids … More…

Of Little Value – Easy To Return
Nicolas Rousseau - detail

Of Little Value – Easy To Return

It was recently reported that Peter Forner, the son of a German soldier who, during WWII, was ordered to take a painting by Nicolas Rousseau, has returned it to France.  The painting is now on display at the World Centre … More…

Pissarro Can Stay
camille_pissarro_-_rue_saint-honore_dans_lapres-midi-_effet_de_pluie

Pissarro Can Stay

Well, this case was finally settled.  Back in 2000, the heirs of Lilly Cassirer sued Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, over Pissarro’s Rue Saint-Honoré, dans l’après-midi. Effet de pluie (1897).  The painting was taken by the Nazi’s in 1939, and in 1976 … More…

Bouvier / Rybolovlev – A Never Ending Saga
Leonardo_da_Vinci_or_Boltraffio_(attrib)_Salvator_Mundi_circa_1500

Bouvier / Rybolovlev – A Never Ending Saga

According to an article written by Anna Brady and Vincent Noce, for The Art Newspaper, it appears that the Swiss government’s investigation into Yves Bouvier for unpaid taxes, which began in 2017, is still ongoing.  The government is alleging that … More…

When Will The Stupidity End?
Canova Damage

When Will The Stupidity End?

Video surveillance (click the source link below) shows a 50 year old Austrian tourist sitting on the original plaster cast model of Antonio Canova’s Pauline Bonaparte as Venus Victrix, and breaking off three of the figure’s toes.  You might wonder … More…