Re: reasons for acquiring a piece

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Posted by Yon Bard on March 16, 1999 at 13:36:17:

In Reply to: Re: reasons for acquiring a piece posted by Steve Price on March 16, 1999 at 09:40:39:

: Dear Tom and Everyone,

: Tom correctly identifies peer approval as one of the criteria many collectors use in one way or another. For instance, a distinguished provenance always increases the price a rug will bring at auction, and my take on this is that the buyers are willing to pay for the implied approval of the distinguished previous owner.

: On the other hand, I don't grasp Tom's implications of auction purchasing. How does purchasing 90+% at auction identify a collector as having limited appreciation of the art he collects? Could one make the converse argument, that the collector who buys mostly from established dealers has limited confidence in his own ability to judge? I don't think so, but I raise this to illustrate my reluctance to adopt the opposite view.

: Tom's post also prompted me to go through my own collection. I proudly report that the percentage of what I own that was obtained through auction is between 20% and 25%.
: Regards,

: Steve Price

Steve, I think the point Tom is trying to make is that some people who don't trust their own judgment assume that dealers are trying to put a fast one over them, whereas at auction they think that if other collectors are bidding, it's a sign that the piece is really good.

There is another 'pathological' motivation that sways some collectors: Newnwess to the market. To them a known provenance is a disadvantage - they buy only if the piece has had no prior exposure at all. Some dealers go to extremes to make sure that you don't tell anybody else about pieces they have shown you, lest some fanatic will refuse to buy these no-longer virginal pieces.

Regards, Yon

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