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“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…

British & European Art – Christie’s, London
Grimshaw’s Stapleton Park, Near Pontefract

British & European Art – Christie’s, London

Christie’s just completed another online auction, this one featured British and European Art, and once again, there were not a lot of great works presented.  Christie’s promoted the featured works from this sale on their site, amounting to 11 of … More…

LeBron James Breaks Another Record
2003-04-Upper-Deck-Exquisite-Rookie-Auto-Patch-Parallel-LeBron-James-BGS-9-5-Goldin-July-2020

LeBron James Breaks Another Record

It did not take long to break the auction record for a modern-day trading card… I am referring to a card that was produced after 1980. In June, I wrote about a Mike Trout rookie card that made $922K… well, … More…

Rembrandt To Richter – 500 Centuries Of Art
Joan Miro’s Peinture (Femme au Chapeau Rouge)

Rembrandt To Richter – 500 Centuries Of Art

The onslaught continues, and this week, Sotheby’s presented their Rembrandt to Richter sale … a mash-up of pricier works from Old Master to Contemporary.  I, for one, have never been a fan of this type of sale, especially when you … More…

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Evening – Online pt 3
Pablo Picasso - Tete de Femme Endormie

Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Evening – Online pt 3

Wrapping up the three-part evening, Sotheby’s offered up a modest selection of Impressionist & Modern works; we were expecting 32 lots to be offered, but only 26 materialized, as 6 lots were withdrawn – that’s nearly 20% of the sale! … More…

Nahmad vs. Phillips – More Legal Matters
Tales from the dark side

Nahmad vs. Phillips – More Legal Matters

The Nahmad family is back in the news, this time, with the youngest of the art dealing clan, Joseph Nahmad. According to a complaint filed on June 9th in New York, Joseph Nahmad is suing Phillips auction house after a … More…

Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening – Online pt 2
Francis Bacon - Triptych Inspired by the Oresteia of Aeschylus

Sotheby’s Contemporary Evening – Online pt 2

Immediately following the Ginny Williams collection, Sotheby’s offered up 30 lots of Contemporary work, though it was a far cry from the usual slate of works featured in an evening sale… the high end of the sale estimate was $239M … More…

Bouvier – Rybolovlev continued…
Tales from the dark side

Bouvier – Rybolovlev continued…

Over the years, we have written more than a dozen posts about the Bouvier – Rybolovlev conflict.  In a quick summary, Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev claims to have been defrauded of over $1 billion for 38 works of art by … More…