Valuations... And Warnings


We reported in the last AntiqueSmart Commentary about the Frida Kahlo alleged forgeries. The New York Times reported it today, four days after we did.

In the same commentary we reported about photos of dead Nazi war criminals being worth less than a piece of the rope on which they were hung. Well in last Sundays Times, there was a story on Barbra Streisand, and the winner of a  lottery, enabling him to see her performance at a very small night club in N.Y...It was reported he picked up a plastic cup she drank from and wants to have it bronzed.  If he he is reading this blog, Do Not Bronze it. In all likelihood, it is worth more the way it is along with the story. Once it is bronzed, her DNA would be destroyed with it. along these lines, 30 years ago, I was In Havana Cuba where I met with Fidel Castro. {This is a story for another time} Prior to our meeting, he spoke for about 4 hours on just about everything which came into his head.  When he got up to leave, I headed for his ashtray and grabbed his half finished cigar, by now unlit, had it photographed by a Business International photographer from N.Y., and took it home to get framed. It has crumbled a bit in the framed test tube where it lies, but I may be one of the very few people in the world who has access to his DNA.

I would like to comment on the fakes coming in from Asia. No, not the diplomats, but the pieces alleged to be hundreds and even thousands of years old.  First of all, avoid EBay. Any alleged antique has to be examined by an expert. So called relics from the Han, Ming, Ching dynasties offered for sale may be from modern kilns. New York auction house like Doyle on East 87th St. I'll appraise them for free. Check the listings to see what day. Usually it is on a Friday. Many pieces of jade may be in the "style" of antiquities, and are modern. Pieces looking like Stratfordshire with phony marks have been coming in for years. Bronzes made yesterday and porcelains with spurious marks are flooding the country. If you are uncertain about what you have, e-mail me a photo. Or if you are as ignorant as I am about how to email photos, let me have your address, by e-mail and I will mail mine. I will look at your items no charge.

You can do your own research with Sources of Value: A Practical Guide to the Art and Science of Valuation
See you next time...Remember, be smart, be "antiqueSmart"