Absentee buying at Sotheby's, etc.

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Posted by Steve Price on March 12, 1999 at 10:40:33:

In Reply to: Re: Would you buy a rug on the Internet? posted by Bob Alimi on March 11, 1999 at 19:17:31:

Dear Robert,

Just to correct a misimpression about folks buying a absentee bidders at Sotheby's and other major auction houses, I doubt that very many bids are based on catalog pictures only.

I've bought some things (and bid on others) that I've not actually seen, at Sotheby's, Christie's and Skinner's. I always have a conversation about the piece with the auction house expert (these are very knowledgable folks with high levels of integrity), and get photos in addition to the one in the catalog and sometimes get the transparency from which the catalog photo was derived. A good 4" x 5" transparency viewed at 30X to 45x magnification is a very detailed image. I've probably bought about 10 pieces this way, and have not been disappointed in any of them.

Best regards,

Steve Price

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