Christie's auction

From: William Donzelli <>
Date: Tue Feb 15 17:08:53 2005

> These are journals that any University library has multiple copies
> of (probably one in the math department, one in the main library). If
> each of these issues was worth the $1000-$2000 that Christie's says it is,
> we could solve all of the public university's funding problems for a century
> without a problem.

One of the main differences - possibly THE main difference - between
the high end (Christie's/Sotheby's) and pretty much everyone else (Ebay,
typical antique auctions) is provenance.

Simply put, provenance is very solid when an item goes thru the high end
(99 percent of the time), and provenance is a huge factor in selling price
and demand. Provenance doesn't mean squat* when an item goes thru just
about any other channel. Even sitting on a library shelf.

In fact, just the fact that an item was sold in a high end auction adds
considerable provenance, and with it, value.

*Look at Ebay - how much do you trust descriptions? Judging from the
weekly "look at item 123456789 - WHAT A SCAM!" threads on this list -
probably not much at all. Likewise, at a live surplus or country auction -
do you *completely* trust the knowledge that the auctioneer has, even
though he only spent an average of a minute or two dealing with each lot?

William Donzelli
Received on Tue Feb 15 2005 - 17:08:53 GMT

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