Re: Mistakes: Too Few to Mention?

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Posted by Yon Bard on June 14, 1999 at 11:43:04:

In Reply to: Re: Mistakes: Too Few to Mention? posted by Marvin Amstey on June 14, 1999 at 08:53:07:

: : : Yon, Marvin -

: : : C'mon you guys. Don't take me to philosophy class. Share some experience. :-)

: : : John

: : OK, John, here's an example. The Thompson sale at Sotheby's (12/10/93) occurred early in my Turkoman collecting carreer. At the time I was obsessed with acquiring a Salor. Unfortunately, the Salors came up late in the sale, so that I sat on my hands through the early going, preserving my money for the Salors. Well, I ended up being the losing bidder on three of them. Now I realize that I should have bid on some of the pieces that came up earlier. Even among the Salors, I wasn't at the time able to appreciate the beauty of no. 57, which I might have been able to get, instead of the more garish no. 55, which I failed to get. That would not have happened if I'd listened at the time to the advice of some knowledgable people, but 'expert' advice is so often suspect, who can be blamed for not following it when it runs against one's own inclination?

: : My greatest sorrow is that the Cassin sale occurred before I got into the field. In that sale, some of the most wonderful Turkomans failed to sell, or sold for a pittance. But would I have appreciated them even if that sale had been held a couple of years later?

: : Regards, Yon

: Funny you should mention that sale, Yon; I also was the under bidder on a number of items that I wish I now had. However, that sale may be an aberration. The name "Thompson" has a certain cache among Turkomen collectors, and, I believe, the prices reached were too high based on that fact. I know of one piece in that sale that sold for a moderate sum that reached the market about five years later and could not make the price again. On the other hand, the owner wanted to double his/her money, and this may have been the reason for no sale. Regards, Marvin

Marvin, I agree that the Thompson name inflated some of the prices, though not outrageously. But they also set the level for the future: Since then I have seen several cases where dealers justified their prices by referring to similar ones at that sale. As to the piece that you mention, I think you are referring to no. 34, a damaged ersari long rug. The rug was restored prior to being reoffered at Christie's, somewhat justifying the higher asking price. The piece was certainly not among the jewels of the Thompson collection!

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