Friday, February 12, 2016

Lessons Learned From the Schorsch Auction - The Practical Stuff (Part II)

I've done a lot of thinking about the Schorsch Auction at Sotheby's. After hours spent studying these pieces, analyzing details and comparing results, I came to the following conclusions -- 

especially about collecting antiques.


American School 18th century
MARGARETHA SIGEL(IN) IN A CREWEL EMBROIDERED GOWN POSED WITH A LAMB
Inscribed and dated: Eva Margaratha Sigelin/Sep 1761, further dated Pinxit Ano 1763.
oil on canvas
36 in. by 24 1/2 in.
CIRCA 1763

pre-auction estimate:  $15,000-30,000.... she sold for $55,000 to an absentee bidder.
Note  the unusual embroidered crewel dress!


Size doesn't count. Not for assigning value, that is. Smaller pieces could sell for just as much -- or more.

Provenance does.

Condition may well be affected by age. (Many of the oldest, most fragile pieces had repairs and restoration. Of course...or they wouldn't have survived so long.)

Look for the unusual...like the child's cap and ancient shoes below. (They all did well.)

Buy the best you can afford.

Look for the Really Old Stuff.

Buy what you love. But...

Don't expect your kids to value what you did. The Schorsches had their rooms photographed, with certain items proudly pointed out. Obviously, they valued those pieces more than others.
     And what was put up for auction? Those same 'important' pieces. Obviously, they weren't as meaningful to the kids and grandkids.














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