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Antiques, Art & Valuables Featuring Fred Burke

Watch the Bob Langer interview with Fred Burke, who had done work in the White House under six U.S. Presidents: Sex Lies and Videotapes". Which of the president's played around, with the 'assistance' of the Secret Service.


A $3 Garage Sale Bowl Fetches $2.2 Million At Auction

Next time you are at a garage sale, keep your eye out for ancient Chinese objects of art. You never know....

This from the New York Post: A New York family scored a huge payday when this small bowl, which they bought at a garage sale for $3, turned out to be a 1,000-year old Chinese piece that sold for $2.2 million at Sotheby’s. The family bought the rare bowl at the secondhand sale in 2007, and kept it sitting on their mantle for years, the auction house said.

After becoming curious, the bargain hunters began consulting experts about the bowl. They finally brought the piece to Sotheby’s, which estimated it would sell for somewhere in the $200,000 to $300,000 range. But yesterday, London art dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi blew away those figures when he plunked down $2.2 million for the museum-quality piece.

AFP/Getty Images
The small Chinese pottery bowl that started as a $3 tag sale only to turn into a massive $2.2 million windfall at auction.He beat four other bidders for the Northern Song dynasty bowl — known as a Ding bowl — which dates back to the 10th or 11th century.There is only one other bowl like it in the world, and it is in the British Museum.A little less than 5 1/2 inches in diameter, the multimillion-dollar bowl could be mistaken for a decorative ashtray.Early-era Ding wares are known for their small utilitarian qualities, Sotheby’s said.Author Rose Kerr believes the ornamental Ding bowls were made to mimic the more elaborate gold and silver wares that were common in palaces.

The ancient piece is described as a Ding bowl because of the county Ding in the Hebei province where the kilns used to make the bowls were housed. The Ding bowl owned by the British Museum in London has been on display for more than 60 years, since it was bequeathed by famous collector Henry J. Oppenheim.

This isn’t the first big buy for Eskenazi. In 2005, the Turkish-born dealer paid $23.5 million for a rare blue-and-white jar from the 14th century at a Christie’s auction. Sotheby’s would not identify the lucky bowl sellers, only to say that they were a family from somewhere in New York state.

Earlier this month, a collection of abstract Impressionist art found in a Long Island garage was appraised at $30 million.

The owners of the bungalow found thousands of paintings and drawings by the Armenian-American artist Arthur Pinajian in 2007. They were later appraised by art historian Peter Hastings Falk and shown at the Antiquorum Gallery in Midtown.

Chinese Vase Brings $69 million at Auction

The next time you see a dusty old relic in your attic that you think is junk, don't throw it away. It may be worth millions of dollars. We hear this type of story every day but nothing quite so extraordinary as the case of a brother and sister from England who were cleaning out their parents attic. There they spotted a dusty old Chinese vase that had previously been dismissed as a reproduction. Nevertheless, they took it to an auction house to see if they could get some money for it.

As it turns out, this was a rare and very old Chinese vase with an illustrious history. After feverish bidding, the vase brought in a closing successful bid of $69.5 million dollars. Wow!

The blue and yellow vase is believed to have been made around 1740 and dates back to the royal court of Qianlong, the fifth emperor in the Qing dynasty.

It's unclear how the vase -- decorated with a fish motif -- ended up in suburban London, but experts think it was taken out of China probably around the end of the Second Opium War in 1860.

After 30 minutes, the sale finally went to an unidentified Chinese man seated in the front row on a gilded sofa who refused to divulge his identity.

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/international/chinese_vase_found_in_attic_3tBQvVo6Y8cTVrItqy3gRL#ixzz15I2YrNC6


As unemployment is inching towards 10%, a dark cloud hovers over the antiques and arts markets. I have spoken to people associated with auction houses in New Zealand, Hong Kong Singapore, New York, Pennsylvania, and San Francisco. Layoffs continue due to lagging sales, and lower prices at auction resulting in lower profits. The first place to start is by laying off people..No salaries, no fringe benefits, no sick pay, no vacations.

Auction house sales are down to about 65% on average. Big ticket items are not attracting the collector or the investor The $20,000,000. works of art are not attracting bids, and if they are, they are in after market at 50% less. After market translates to an offer after no one bids on the item. A nicely kept secret.

There are trickle down effects. With fewer people buying, galleries have closed. The Chelsea area in New York City, once a mecca for the gainfully employed now has storefronts with going out of business sales. The unluckier ones have already closed down. Dealers are stuck with inventories of "up -and-coming" artists. These artists are suffering because the dealers cannot sell their artwork. Entrepeneurs who run Exhibitions are finding fewer exhibitors willing to spend money on booths. Travel, hotels, insurance, no longer add up to investment spending, when there is no return on the investment. A dealer in Florida in Fine Art, went to Washington D.C., to exhibit. "A disaster" he asserted.

Many publications are seeing lower ad revenues. Fewer pages mean less hiring, more firing.. Newspaper and magazines, dealing in art and antiques, coupled with journalism hard news, are laying off reporters, columnists, graphic artists; "assistants to the" are becoming a thing of the past. It has been reported the Los Angeles Times has laid off more than 50% of its staff of 1100 people. The Wall Street Journal is closing its Boston Bureau. Newspapers and magazines over the past few years have reduced journalism spending by 1.6 billion dollars. That is BILLION, with a "B".

Is there any good news out there? If here is, YOU CAN BET YOU WILL READ IT HERE FIRST. So what is someone to do who has something to sell? Hold on to it, unless you need he money, and if you need the cash, ask me what it might be worth before you give it away, Incidentally, some of he smaller auction house are sending out notices to their clients, that that they will accept up to 15% lower bids on the lowest bid you will accept for your consigned property. In this economic environment, everyone who is hurting, winds up wounding the other guy financially. We are backed up with ll of the inqueries we are receiving from you, but we promise to answer all of those questions quickly.

Remember, be ANTIQUE SMART!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Metropolitan museum of art 
Auction houses continue laying off staff.  Museums are the next tough area. Even the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art has just laid off dozens of people including curators. Things are so bad that a number of museums want to sell some of their art work so they can pay their bills.
The New York State legislature wants to enact a bill to forbid the sale of any art works in N,Y, Museums. This, however, is a double edged sword. If they will not be allowed to dispose of the art to pay outstanding bills, they will have to layoff people.
Did you know there are hundreds of thousand of items in the basements of these museums, never seeing the light of an exhibition hall? It makes more sense to dispose of some of these items
instead of laying of people with children to support.  Unfortunately, politicians want to make noise to bring attention to themselves. A couple of laid off people, are only a couple of votes lost.
If you would like to know the names of these jerks, read todays N.Y. Times.  VOTE THEM OUT OF THEIR WARM OFFICES, and strip them of their fringe benefits.

To demonstrate some of the great art held in storage at our museums, check out this book on a unique exhibition of Andy Warhol's work that was in storage at the Museum of Modern Art in New York:

Raid the Icebox 1, with Andy Warhol: An Exhibition Selected from the Storage Vaults of the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design


At a recent auction in Vineland N.J., a 37 inch long enamelled tin clown train sold for $103,500.....The 1909 Marklin piece is alleged to have been found in an attic. The train consisted of four clowns sitting on  separate chariot-type chairs, pulled along by a clown on a bicycle. 
1909 Marklin tin clown train What's in YOUR attic???


Sothebys and Christies have laid off hundreds of staff as sales continue to fall. Several small auction houses in the New York/New Jersey area have filed for bankruptcy, Antique shops are closing down due to lower volumes and their inability to cover expenses. High-end items continue to do well. Low-end have become out of favor due to a reduction in discretionary spending.
How will this impact the art and antiques market? I predict that the art market will continue to retract as the economy continues to shrink. The high end will always have buyers but even at the high end, the price for art will decline somewhat. The greatest pain could be experienced at the low end. Those buying lower priced art, tend to buy it when times are flush since you will not buy art if you are concerned about paying your rent and food.
However for those who are debt free, still working and don't feel the strain of a bad economy, there is no better time to buy art and antiques. There are great bargains out there for those who want them.