Sunday, November 28, 2010

Brains + Lips = Win the Antiques Roadshow Game

The Antiques Roadshow website has a game you can play. You watch a little video segment. Along the way are multiple choice questions regarding the item (like "Who is Thomas Chippendale?") And finally, can you guess the price before the appraiser calls it? Thanks to 16 years of fine and decorative art study, I managed the multiple choice questions pretty well. The appraised values, however, weren't quite so easy. My timing was off. The objective is to "beat the appraiser." I contend that the roadshow appraiser knows so much more about the item, having researched the bejesus out of it, there's no way I can beat him. Drew's better at this than I am. This brings me to the BIG Antiques Roadshow FALLACY. The Roadshow Appraiser not only sees the item before he goes on television, he has the benefit of exhaustive research, executed by a team of appraisers with computers, libraries, sales results, and everything there is to know about the item including history and provenance. Sometimes AR knows about a piece before they even get into town!
We get a lot of referrals from the Antiques Roadshow for which we are grateful. But, because of this BIG FALLACY, some people think appraisers just know this stuff and can spout spontaneously. Some find it hard to believe that an appraiser doesn't know everything there is to know about everything. Oh, some appraisers (I live with one) have enormous brains,
indeed, as well as the ability to recall the data and use their lips
at the same time. But, mostly, appraising is all about honing one's connoisseurship skills, studying items, mediums, artists, makers and history AND researching comparables and sales results. Just so's you know, it's not spontaneous.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Opposites Attract Buyers

This weekend, we visited Pook & Pook Auction in Downingtown, PA and Rago's in Lambertville, NJ. In many ways, these two venues represent polar opposites of the auction market in terms of product offerings. Pook's Saturday sale featured about 750 lots of 18th and 19th century American furniture and decorative arts. The room was filled with buyers; the phones were busy and the internet bought some items. Almost nothing was passed. Prices for beautiful pieces of finely made antique furniture and tall case clocks seemed sadly low. Competition was stiff, however, for the best examples of paintings, pen wipes (who knew?), quilts, miniatures and anything rare and unusual. The John George Brown (American, 1831-1913) oil painting The Monopolist, hammered down for $115,000 (plus 18.5% buyers premium) on a $35,000-55,000 estimate. Rago's Saturday sale consisted of over 1000 lots of 20th and 21st century furniture and dec art. There appeared to be more workers in the room than buyers. The phones and internet were active. Modern furniture by known makers such as Nakashima, Springer, LaVerne, Parzinger, Evans and Robsjohn-Gibbings were popular. A Victor Schreckengost Jazz Bowl hammered down for the same price as the JG Brown painting at Pook's, plus Rago's 22% buyer's premium. David's estimate was $20-30,000. David presented quite a few "experiments;" decorations by offbeat or unknown artists. There were a lot of items passed or bought in. Many an antique collector has lamented that "they just don't make 'em like they used to." 21st century buyers are proving to be savvy, as well. Fine furniture and art have been and are still being made today. It appears that modern furniture by well-known makers seems to be selling better than antique. Decorations that are cool or rare are selling regardless of their age.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Estate Wars!!

Personal Property Consultants has watched many family dramas take place when a loved one or family member passes away, or when family members downsize. Regardless of how fair and reasonable people's intentions are, there's often misunderstandings. A professional appraiser, like us, can help with the identification, labeling, valuing and distribution advice for almost all things on the inside of a house. Hiring us is a great place to start the process. No one has ever regretted hiring us to help, edit, elucidate, divide, distribute, donate, sell or value their "stuff." can go on National TV and duke it out! We think our methodology is more pragmatic and less embarrassing.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Playing the Antiques Roadshow Game

Do you love the Antiques Roadshow as much as we do?
Drew and I have been playing the Antiques Roadshow "game" for about 10 years. It goes like this: the owner of the thing presents his item and its story to the appraiser on the show; before the appraiser divulges their value determination, each of us predicts the outcome; closest number wins. If there's disagreement with their evaluation, we do the research to determine if they're "right." Truth be told, Drew's a winner. I'm betting you play this game, too. Some people in our (appraisal) profession don't have kind things to say about the show. They say that the values represented on the show are at best, dubious, or at least, not realistic representations of the marketplace. As entertainment and information, Drew and I find it compelling. In any case, it's a show we need to watch and know about because our customers, clients and friends watch it. If I had a nickle for every time a client said "I saw one of these on the Antiques Roadshow so I thought I better have it appraised" I'd have at least enough for a lifetime subscription to the Antiques Roadshow newsletter.
I like a couple of the appraisers a lot, mostly because I learn from them and they are funny, smart or both. We've met many of them and have a few on speed-dial. Alan Fausel on fine art, Noel Barrett on toys, David Rago on early 20th C. arts and crafts, Philip Weiss on collectibles, and of course, the Kenos on antique furniture are favorites to watch. Sometimes, they are like kids in a candy store. I've included links to each of their archived TV appraisals on video. I get a kick out of watching these more than once because I do learn something new every time. Then again, I have America's Funniest Videos on permanent DVR, too. Remember, AFV was America's first social networking site!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Continuing Care Retirement Communities

July 26, 2010 Senate Begins Hearings on CCRCs On July 21, the Senate Special Committee on Aging chaired by Herb Kohl (D-Wisconsin) convened a hearing on the state of the CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) industry. For readers or followers of the newsletter, Apex Health News, you may recall a number of articles on the state of the industry and specifically, how the CCRC and Senior Housing industry has been impacted by the economic downturn in general and the the languishing housing (residential) market specifically. In addition, Reginald Hislop, III, Managing Partner of Apex Healthcare has written numerous articles on his Blog regarding CCRCs and their fortunes in the current economic climate. Recall that in the wake of the failure of the Erickson Retirement Communities, some associated but not related concerns regarding other high-profile CCRCs in financial distress (the Clare in Chicago, etc.) and negative industry outlooks and debt downgrades in the sector via Fitch, the Senate Special Committee on Aging began an investigation into the CCRC industry. The most notable step taken was a request to the GAO to complete a study on the industry. Somewhat simultaneous with the GAO request, the Committee sent out letters of inquiry to five CCRC organizations. A report summarizing the information received via the inquiry was produced. As he reviewed the findings in both reports, he noted similarities in themes. He also noted that the Committee’s skew would be toward calling for added regulation of the industry, directed state to state. As the Senate Special Committee has only “fact-finding” and “recommendation” powers, we didn’t expect a great call or swell for federal involvement beyond this point. Providers and trade associatons however, should take caution as the recommendations from the committee reports (GAO and other) are likely to produce added regulations for the industry on a state to state basis, especially given the nature of the findings. Mr. Hislop's summary of the information is below. The vast majority of states offer minimal regulation of CCRCs and fewer still (17) include requirements for periodic actuarial studies (a recommendation from the Committee). Twelve states have no regulations at all. CCRCs that were tied to certain forms of debt instruments such as bonds were more closely watched financially than those that had other forms of debt structure or no debt at all. While bankruptcy and/or failure in the industry is rare, the biggest risk to residents in financially unstable CCRCs is abrupt rate or fee increases. A secondary, less likely risk, is loss of principle or investment via a downpayment or entry fee should the CCRC become illiquid. Only 16% of CCRCs pursue voluntary accreditation. Recent downturns in the economy have added real estate and credit risk to the industry. Providers have found it difficult to secure new debt or to refinance existing debt at competitive terms in the current credit markets, making operating costs associated with debt more expensive and/or, keeping the CCRC from proceeding with needed capital improvements. From a real estate perspective, the fall in housing prices coupled with a very slow re-sale market for existing homes has hurt CCRC occupancies and thus, revenue profiles. Operating cash reserves and cushions as well as investment reserves have declined significantly over the past two years. Of the facilities reviewed by the Committee, four out of five claim to have reserves equal to two months or less of operating expenses. Three of the five report having debt levels greater than asset equity and one reports having a refund liability on contracts equaling eight times more than net worth. The Committee is recommending that states adopt more uniform regulations for CCRCs in the focal areas of licensing, reserves, recurring monitoring and analysis, periodic reviews and analysis, and consumer disclosure. Important or notable recommendations include requiring periodic actuarial analysis, periodic financial examinations conducted by the state or under the auspices of the state (i.e., independent accounting firm following a prescribed methodology), a review of marketing practices, audited financial statements, and a review of financial ratios to assure capital stability and liquidity. On a final note, Mr. Hislop found both reports interesting in terms of their similarities and their differences. It is clear from the report generated via the Committee’s direct inquiries that the inquiries were made to less established CCRCs and/or newer developments. This sample, in our opinion, is hardly representative of the industry. In the GAO report, the investigation probed through activities in only eight states. While he found the GAO report more “balanced”, neither document shed any new light on the industry or its issues. The bottom-line and somewhat concluded within both reports is that the industry, while somewhat temporarily troubled by the economy, is good for seniors and offers a significant and important option for retirement and long-term care. The troubles that are so often highlighted in recent times, are representative of a small slice of the total industry, typified by newer developments, focused on affluent seniors, in crowded markets, heavily leveraged, and in his opinion, less than adequately researched prior to development. Stabilized projects under the control of experienced ownership groups and operators, will continue to prosper and remain stable, even through the slow recovery.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fraud for Gold - SHAME ON THEM

NJ gold selling consumers beware! The Star Ledger published an article Thursday, July 2 Cash-for-Gold fraud tips the scales against sellers. We've been warning our clients and friends for years to avoid selling their precious metal jewelry and coins to charlatans. "They sound so nice and professional."
The Better Business Bureau and Consumer Reports has been warning that consumers have been underpaid or flat-out robbed by television and internet cash-for-gold operators. The NJ Office of Weights and Measures has formed a Precious Metals Task Force to conduct surprise inspections of scales. The biggest rip-offs are the "transient buyers;" the ones that take out the full-page ads in the Star Ledger! Springs were found in their scales, cheating customers out of accurate measurements of their gold and silver. Some fraudulent NJ dealers even had store-fronts, with scales that were all inaccurate in their favor. What a coincidence!
In case you're interested in selling your unwanted gold and silver jewelry, we've just gotten a new state-of-the-art scale to help you take advantage of $1200/ounce gold. Fridays are a good day to meet with Drew and weigh-in on your decision making. He'll explain the testing and weighing methodology. Give a call and make an appointment! You'll be richer for it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

FYI - For our Clients Who Own Fine Works of Art & Those Who Wish They Did

Is it time to Buy or Sell?

ArtPrice Report of May's top Sales:

A Top 10 at $324.3m In just one week (05/04 - 05/12), Christie’s and Sotheby’s generated six results above the $25m line. The combined revenue from the top 3 results ($95m for Picasso’s Nude,Green Leaves and Bust + $47.5m for Giacometti’s Grande tête mince + $29m for Warhol’s Self Portrait) almost equals the total generated by Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Phillips de Pury from their 2009 May sales ($180m from 734 lots). The combined revenue from Christie’s and Sotheby’s Impressionist & Modern Art sales was up 205% vs. 2009. In May 2009, no-one dared to offer Picasso’s major works for sale. A year later, his works are at both ends of the Top 10 (in 10th position, his Femme au chat assise dans un fauteuil fetched $16m, estimated $10m - $15m ). His peer Henri MATISSE is in 6th position with Bouquet de fleurs pour le quatorze juillet ($25.5m, Sotheby’s).

Top 10 Hammer price in May 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

....from Swimming to the White Elephant

Lynn, do you collect anything?
Yes, I collect friends, music and occasionally broken green pottery.
Why broken green pottery?
I like green pottery and I feel sorry for the broken ones.
When and how did you get into the appraisal of antiques?
Through my husband's Comedy Club, Rascal's, back in the early 90s. Seemed like a seamless transition from Competitive Swimming.
How's that?
He had a restaurant called "The White Elephant," which required frequent replenishment of "things to sell." I was a buyer for them. Obviously I used my very special swimming techniques.
Thanks, Lynn, for filling us all in. Now we know.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

HNWI + Art = Investment

WSJ, Kelly Crow:

Christie's International auctioned $232 million of post-war and contemporary art at its evening sale in New York on Tuesday, led by a record-setting $28.6 million waxy painting of an American flag by Jasper Johns.

"Flag," which was completed in 1966 and hung for decades in the home of the late "Jurassic Park" author Michael Crichton, sold to New York art adviser Michael Altman. It was priced to sell for up to $15 million.

Mr. Crichton's collection of colorful, mid-century artworks helped the sale beat Christie's own presale expectations as well as eclipsing the house's $93.7 million sale last May -- proving collectors are once again willing to chase after newer works that carry the right pedigree.

The mood was chipper throughout the sale, with collectors like hedge-fund manager Steve Cohen and former superagent Michael Ovitz taking spots in skyboxes overlooking the auction house's crowded sales room, where others like entrepreneur Eli Broad and author Salman Rushdie took their seats. Two men on the front row wore ballcaps: fashion designer Marc Jacobs and fund manager John Angelo, who sits on rival Sotheby's board.

Yet the night unquestionably belonged to Jasper Johns, the artist from Georgia whose seminal series of late 1950s and 1960s depictions of flags, targets and alphabets represent some of the earliest examples of Pop art. Christie's sold eight of the artist's works for a combined $43.6 million, including the $4.1 million "Figure O."

The sale's other big winner was Andy Warhol, whose 1965 diptych of a lavender-faced Elizabeth Taylor, "Silver Liz," sold for $18.3 million, above its $15 million high estimate. Warhol's portraits of Hollywood starlets like Ms. Taylor or Marilyn Monroe are among his most coveted pieces, and at least four bidders competed for "Liz," with New York dealer Dominique Levy getting it.

The Christie's sale also amounted to a test of Robert Rauschenberg's market. Three telephone bidders went after his 1960-61 "Studio Painting" – one of the artist's so-called "Combines" because he hung a small bag on a clothesline that runs between the work's pair of painted canvases. A Christie's specialist who often represents Parisian collectors won it for $11 million, over its $9 million high estimate. A Rauschenberg silkscreen, "Trapeze," also sold for $6.3 million. (Final prices, unlike estimates, include the auction house's additional fee.)

Altogether, 74 of the 79 works offered found buyers, helping the sale reach 98% of its potential total value -- one of the most successful showings since the recession. The Crichton estate's 31 pieces alone sold for $93.3 million, against a $69.6 million high estimate. The sale broke at least five records for artists including Johns, Mark Tansey, Sam Francis, Lee Bontecou and Christopher Wool. Around 74% of the offerings went to American buyers, the auction house said.

Other sellers included Mr. Ovitz: Christie's helped him sell a pair of works, including Neo Rauch's surreal café painting, "Seek," for $1 million. The work had been priced to sell for between $800,000 and $1.2 million. Mr. Ovitz also sold Eric Fischl's 1984 image of a nude woman basking in her own reflection, "Vanity," for $1 million.

Sotheby's holds its post-war and contemporary sale on Wednesday, and boutique auctioneer Phillips de Pury follows on Thursday.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Results: Christie's Impressionist and Modern Art

On Tuesday Christie's held its New York Impressionist and Modern Art Sale. We already know of the auction record price of $106.5 million including buyers premium for the Picasso, but what about the rest of the sale, which included additional property from the Brody collection. The sale offer 69 lots with 56 selling for a buy through rate of 81%. The evening sale totaled $335.55 million including buyers premium. Of course nearly a third of that came from the Picasso. Other notable sales were Giacometti works taking the number 2, 3 and 4 spots selling for $20.8 million, $25.8 million and $53.3 million (see image). All three Giacometti pieces beat the high estimate. I guess the previous auction record price earlier this year helped with the Giacometti results. Picasso also had three other pieces in the top ten. All top ten buyers were listed as anonymous. Christie's Marc Porter, Chairman of Christie's Americas stated
This was a stellar night for Christie's and for the art market. The sale was led by exceptional prices for works by Pablo Picasso, Alberto Giacometti and Henri Matisse from the Brody Collection, one of the greatest private collections to come to market. In addition, we witnessed great depth of bidding and strong results for important works from other American and European collections, including additional paintings by Picasso and works by Giacometti and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. We are honored to have been entrusted with so many remarkable works this season, and we are delighted to have delivered such positive results, including three new world auction records for Picasso, Georges Braque, and Jean-François Raffaelli." The star lot of the evening, and the most anticipated work to come to market from private hands in the last decade, was Nude, Green Leaves and Bust, a sensuous and stunning masterpiece from Picasso’s celebrated 1932 series of paintings depicting his muse and mistress Marie-Thérèse Walter. Referred to as the “lost” 1932 Picasso because it had never before been published in color, Nude Green Leaves, and Bust was acquired by Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Brody in 1950 for $17,000 from the art dealer Paul Rosenberg. It had been exhibited in public only once since its purchase, at a 1961 exhibition sponsored by the UCLA Art Council. At the auction, eight bidders competed for the Brody Picasso, as Christie's lead auctioneer and Honorary Chairman Christopher Burge started the bidding at the $58 million mark. Mr. Burge took bids from within the saleroom and on the phone before the competition settled down to two bidders at the $88 million mark and a one-on-one battle ensued. Finally, at 7:32pm – nine minutes after the bidding open – the final bid was hammered down and a new world record for the most expensive artwork at auction was sealed at $106,482,500.
---Todd Sigety

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Would you sell to Frank & Mike?

I enjoy the American Pickers series because I learn a lot about parts. Parts of bicycles, parts of cars, parts of things I usually don't handle; physically, that is. I do enjoy getting dirty now and then, but, Mike and Frank really dig in. Like "Dirty Jobs," I like to watch. Being an unbiased appraiser, it is hard for me to not holler at the TV: "Ask for more!" or "Take the money and run!"

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Best Selling eBay Items

I am being twittered by: See the Best Selling eBay Items of the last 90 days. If one ever needed a quick education on "stuff" that sells on eBay, this may be it. I recommend you visit their site.
OR..... you can visit our Harding Township (Morristown) gallery for a free "PRE-SALE ESTIMATE." There's an appraiser on duty each Friday. You can drop-in between 10 and 5, or call for a specific appointment time or to make sure we're available when you are.
The sculpture featured in the photo above is by local artist, Peter Allen. It is even cooler in person, so come by and see how it looks in our garden. It could look good in your garden, too!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I hope you don't have one of these

I am often asked to appraise Dalis, Chagalls, Miros, Remingtons and the like.
Dangerous and sad territory for these clients as most are fakes.
They are beautifully framed and reproduced and the clients paid great sums
at "estate" auctions and cruise auctions.
I hate being the bearer of bad news.
Woman sentenced to 7 years for auctioning fake art

LOS ANGELES — A woman who sold $20 million in phony artwork she claimed was by Picasso, Dali and Chagall to thousands of people through a semiweekly televised auction has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Kristine Eubanks, 52, of La Canada Flintridge pleaded guilty in 2007 to conspiracy and tax evasion and was sentenced Monday.

She and her husband, Gerald Sullivan, conducted an art auction show twice a week on DirecTV and The Dish Network from 2002 to 2006.

The couple ran Fine Art Treasures Gallery, which sold fake and forged lithographs, prints and paintings purportedly found at estate liquidations around the world to more than 10,000 victims, U.S. attorney's spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

They bought the paintings from suppliers and sometimes signed the forgeries and prints with the artists' names, prosecutors said.

Eubanks forged "certificates of authenticity" for some pieces and provided fake appraisals for jewelry pieces, Mrozek said.

Also, the couple drove up sale prices by having fake bids announced on-air, he said.

U.S. District Judge Gary Feess said their scheme was "audacious in its scope" and blatantly illegal.

Sullivan will be sentenced in May after earlier pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. He faces a maximum sentence of six years in federal prison.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

My Favorite Dec Art Teacher

Louise Devenish has taught at NYU's Appraisal Studies Program for several years, as well as at Parson's School of Design. I have had the privilege of taking most of her classes. Her Style and Ornament class should be a requirement for all students of antiques. She currently writes for 1st Dibs. Her insightful article about Irish Furniture is my tip of the cap on a March Madness weekend.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Something to Smile About: Antiques Market Improving

Many experts and dealers consider the Winter Antiques Show in NYC to be a barometer of things to come for the rest of the year. The New York Times reports that the results are very positive. The show saw over 22,000 attendees, up over 20% from the 2009 show. Sales, according to dealers in the story were very positive on both the high end and the middle market from the early moments until the very end. The article states that prices were about 25% lower from a year ago. Perhaps the bottom has been hit for the antique trade and decorative arts. Recent fine art sales results have been strong as well.
The slow sales of last year, however, have made dealers’ inventories particularly interesting and full now. And collectors’ reluctance to sell in a weak market has made great pieces scarce, but strong performers when they appear. (There is the relative reassurance of a venerable-looking object as an investment haven, in contrast to a technology stock or bond.) The antiques market’s eagerness to survive has made prices for much midtier material very attractive. Dealers said prices were generally at least 20 to 30 percent lower than two years ago. And, as Alan Granby, of Hyland Granby in Hyannis Port, Mass., maritime art and antiques specialists exhibiting at the armory, said, “Midrange things can still be the best in their field.” Categories that are victims of changes in taste are especially well priced, even for outstanding pieces. The enthusiasm for modern design among younger buyers and the graying of the market for older and formal genres have produced unexpected opportunities in traditional pieces, which typically are too expensive for first-time collectors. “Collectors are going after A-level material,” John Smiroldo, founder and publisher of Antiques and Fine Art, a bimonthly magazine based in Watertown, Mass., said of the auction and show scenes. “But you can get A-minuses for pennies of what it will be trading for in four or five years. As far as I’m concerned, American furniture is free right now — for killer stuff. And high-style English furniture is down, down, down.”

Monday, February 22, 2010

DNA proves...Elvis is Alive!?

"It all began in the early days of the Probate Lawyer Blog, when I came across a Memphis newspaper story about a woman claiming that she was the secret half-sister of Elvis and that she had the DNA to prove it. How did she get the DNA? From Elvis, because he was alive. She had sued to re-open the Estate of Vernon Presley (Elvis' father) to prove that Vernon was her father..."
To Be Continued...... The Probate Lawyer Blog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Corporate Museum Donation is Unusual in these Times!

Read all about it!
Corporate donations to non-profits is something we haven't seen in awhile. Timely, considering the awareness of our northwest natives within the context of the Olympics. I heard them called "aboriginals." That's news, too.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My next library trip....

Have you read Jane Cleland's Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries? Josie's an antiques appraiser who uses her knowledge of antiques to solve crimes. Often called an Antiques Roadshow for mystery fans, the Josie Prescott Antiques Mysteries are traditional mysteries set on the rugged New Hampshire coast.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Thinking about Stuff....

My friend, Nancy Doyne, wrote an interesting article about a man who thought about what would happen to his collections in the future. The legacy he left was more about how he cared for his family than about the things themselves. Oh, if only..... all our clients were like Mr. Josephson.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

You never know what will come in the door.....

An original Schulz signed Peanuts comic strip
200 pounds of vintage jewelry
Antique fire hose nozzles
Metal toy trucks
Modern carved wood sculpture
Arts & Crafts peacock tile

Sunday, January 24, 2010

All That Glitters....The Diamond Market Today

If you've got jewelry you want to learn more about you'll like this - David Wolf, ASA, Master Gemologist writes for Chubb Insurance Newsletter All That Glitters...The Diamond Market Today.

NYC Americana Week

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did
I have a love hate relationship with Americana Week in NYC. I love it because one can see the most interesting and magnificent art and antiques up close and personal in a week. I hate it because January is such an incredibly busy month at work and I usually can't take the time to go. I've been working 7 days a week as it is to make sure all our clients are attended to and the bills get paid.
So close and yet, so far.....
Don't get me wrong. I ALWAYS plan to go. I even read all the auction catalogs and TAAS schedule of events, and map out an agenda. I put a day or two on the calendar in December. I note all the really cool things I want to see in person and outside of a museum. I know where to park and how to get around.
Prioritize and Procrastinate
So, Tuesday's the big day I've got on the calendar this year. After I go to the gym and after completing a couple of appraisals, returning 12 client phone messages from the weekend, writing a newsletter, visiting my mom and dad, calling my daughter at college, grocery shopping, getting airline tickets for either JazzFest or JukeJoint Fest, drain-o-ing the kitchen sink, fixing the shed leak, bill-paying and banking, and starting a diet....
Who knows what I'll actually get accomplished this week. My NAPO friends will probably holler at me. And so they should. I will holler at myself.
Perhaps next year, I won't have this problem. I won't put it on the calendar and thus will eliminate any expectations.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Economist: Chinese Export Porcelain Sales Report

Heads up to those of you who might like to buy a piece of history! The late Chinese Export dealer Elinor Gordon's collection is on the block next week at Sotheby's in New York. It is a must see for any of you interested in these historical porcelain pieces. Her private collection is said to be a true collector's sale, with items having estimates below their usual minimums. According to Christina Prescott-Walker, head of the Sotheby's porcelain departments, many lots will sell for hundreds, not thousands of dollars. Previewing will be an education unto itself.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Need inspiration?

Isn't it nice to know that there are good kids out there today doing good things? My friend, Nancy Doyne, from Mountain Lakes, NJ, has three amazing daughters, one of whom is Maggie. She has been working in Nepal, building a children's home called Kopila Valley. Her post high school journal here is awesome. See what she's up to today.
The apple didn't fall far from that tree!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Christies' Reports Growing Influence of Chinese Collectors

By Le-Min Lim Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Mainland Chinese are buying more art at Christie’s International’s auctions in New York and Europe as their purchases “rose significantly” last year using wealth produced by a growing economy, Christie’s said. Mainland China residents bought the most-expensive items at Christie’s New York jewelry auction in October and more than doubled their purchases of Chinese art last year at sales in London and New York, said Andrew Foster, president of Christie’s Asia, in a statement. Nine of the 10 priciest items at the second part of a Paris auction of Yves Saint Laurent’s effects in November were bought by Asians, Christie’s said, without saying how many were Chinese. The past two years have seen the Chinese outbid Americans and Europeans for top-end Asian antiques and gems at art sales in Hong Kong, the world’s third-largest auction market after New York and London. Now, the Chinese are expanding their collection beyond traditional art to include watches, wine, jewels and some Western art, said Foster. “The trend is crystal clear,” said Foster, who’s also Christie’s chief operating officer. Asia’s “wealth is migrating to art and lifestyle purchases, and not only in Hong Kong.” Hong Kong is leading the global recovery in the art and auction markets, said Foster. Like rival Sotheby’s, the company holds biannual sales in the city. In 2009, Christie’s Hong Kong sales tallied HK$2.7 billion ($348 million), with buyers paying 27 percent more per lot at the second auction than the first. Foster said “passion” is returning to the Hong Kong art market. “The head evaluates, but the heart rules the art market.”
Everything you need you already have. You are complete right now, you are a whole, total person, not an apprentice person on the way to someplace else.
-Beverly Sills
Sadly, hoarders and savers have not heeded her wise words. Help is available!
The National Assn. of Professional Organizers
Personal Property Consultants is an affiliate member of the NJ Chapter of NAPO. We have had the pleasure of working with professional organizers who need valuation advice for their clients. Clients want to know how much their things are worth. This information helps them make decisions about gifting, donating, insuring and selling.
We will participate in the NAPO NJ Vendor Event January 25 at the beautiful Fairfield (NJ) Red Cross Building.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Photo Exhibit Opening At The Newark Public Library (Baristanet)

Photo Exhibit Opening At The Newark Public Library (Baristanet)

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Do you know...

the most important requirement of any appraiser is USPAP compliance?

The Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act of 1989 recognizes USPAP as the generally accepted appraisal standards and requires USPAP compliance for appraisers in federally related transactions. State Appraiser Certification and Licensing Boards; federal, state, and local agencies, appraisal services; and appraisal trade associations require compliance with USPAP.

ASA Granted Expanded USPAP Options

In a letter dated January 5, 2010, The Appraisal Foundation officially granted ASA's request to allow BV, GJ, MTS, and PP appraisers subject to USPAP the following options for meeting USPAP continuing education requirements:

  • Successful completion of the 15-Hour National USPAP Course and pass the associated 15-Hour National USPAP Course Examination every five calendar years, or
  • Successful completion of the 7-Hour National USPAP Update Course every two calendar years, or
  • Successful completion of a 7-Hour National USPAP Update Course specific to Business Valuation, Gems and Jewelry, Machine and Technical Specialties, or Personal Property every two calendar years

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Downsize = Rightsize!

Our clients tell us that downsizing is one of the hardest things they ever do. But, they also tell us, post-execution, that it is one of the most gratifying of experiences. Letting go of their excess baggage is liberating. They want to know that their personal collections are respected and will go to someone who can appreciate them. If that is accomplished with grace and professionalism, they achieve new found freedom and peace.

Museum DeAccessioning

Museums across the country are selling off portions of their collections to generate cash for operating expenses. It's a passionate discussion; no one wants to HAVE to do this. Sadly, reality interferes with artistic missions. If you can't experience it, is there still art?

Many museums and historical institutions SHOULD redefine their mission statements, re-allocate their collections and re-focus on their core constituents.

It's important to keep the lights on, doors open and remain relevant to your community! Creativity is key!

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