Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Quick Takes - What's Happening Now

* Federal Agents Reveal the Results of a 2 Year Sting: The Feds said 150 local, state, and federal law enforcement agents worked two years to bust 24 dealers that have been involved in selling prehistoric Indian objects that presumably were taken from federal lands. If people break the law, they should be accountable. However, this is a massive amount of resources to commit at a time when debt and government seems to be synonymous terms.

* Antiques Roadshow Painting Sale Halted: Sothebys Londona was ready to auction a Winslow Homer painting that has appeared on the British version of Antiques Roadshow when Simon Murray, the great, great grandson of Sir Henry Arthur Blake said no so fast. Apparently, the sale was halted after Murray contended that the subject matter of Homer's painting was Blake's children. Now the parties get their barristers.

* I usually list websites off to the side but with Errol Morris and his website there is something special here worthy of note. After 14 years on the Roadshow, I love a good story and Morris finds them. This is a great discovery thanks to my colleague and friend Mark Rasmussen ( . Check out Morris' opinion series, "Bamboozling Ourselves". Hope you enjoy it.

* The Atlantic City Roadshow several weeks ago was great for the Paintings table which enabled all six appraisers to tape twice. There were some exciting 6 figure finds that will make for some very exciting TV in your future. Unfortunately, the Ethnographic table met some terrific people but found few treasures. Doug Diehl did find a great Navajo Germantown blanket that he took to TV.

* Antiques Roadshow is experimenting with the tools for communicating ... namely Twitter ( and Face Book ( We are not sure how this will sort out but follow us on the floor and see what happens.

* I have commented on the auction market in my analysis of the Christies and Sothebys sales in Paris. My general sense is that more people are on the sidelines now waiting to see what happens during the next 90 days. It appears that many collectors and dealers want to get a sense of where they are with their collections before dropping prices in an effort to find buyers. Downturns mean appraisal and authentication work with offers to trade. Cash is king and the vultures are looking for opportunities. Remember the early 1980's in New York.. there will be sellers and there will be buyers. If the US auction houses and private dealers can come up with the material, the market will continue to be more attractive in the U.S. than Europe.

1 comment:

TribalArtery said...

I am very excited to find your blog. I share your interest in tribal art and present information about it as well. Check out our blog with current news and updates and links to our four websites featuring various genres of tribal art. Thank you. The more we share the more interest we generate and support.