Re: Thompson Sale as a Price Precedent

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Posted by Yon Bard on June 15, 1999 at 19:40:22:

In Reply to: Re: Thompson Sale as a Price Precedent posted by Marvin Amstey on June 15, 1999 at 18:19:40:

: : Dear Yon,

: : Your estimate that Thompson's pieces brought prices about 30% above what might be expected is pretty much how I see it, too. Whether this is "outrageous" depends on what someone thinks outrageous means, as I pointed out.

: : If the Sotheby's estimates were made without regard to provenance (it is my impression that they were, and I take it from your comment about selling prices being about 30% inflated that you thought so too), then the provenance had a significant effect. Why did the Thompson provenance draw a premium and the others you mention didn't? I was not at the Loges, Cassin, etc. previews, so I have no firsthand-derived opinion. Perhaps a premium was built into the estimates and reserves in those sales. Perhaps there were other reasons (the market does have ups and downs).

: : It would be interesting to compare the results of the other collectibles at those same sales, which would eliminate as many variables as can be reasonably eliminated. I find comparing the "Thompson" and "non-Thompson" pieces at the same sale pretty persuasive. There were some awfully nice "non-Thompson" Turkmen pieces, for example, and the results for them were pretty much what might be expected.

: : Regards,

: : Steve Price

: Come on guys; it's not hard to guess why the Thompson pieces sold as they did. At the time of the sale, he had authored the most important book on Turkomen rugs and was the acknowledged authority. In contrast to most auction catalogues - and all other single party sales - he also wrote the descriptions for each of his items in the sales catalogue. That's great marketing! I think that your estimates of 30% too high is on the low side; my guess would be 50%. Regards, Marvin

Steve and Marvin, Cassin and Loges had also published well-known books on Turkoman rugs. The Cassin pieces were great, the Loges pieces mediocre. There is a wonderful Salor three-gul chuval, one half of which sold in the Cassin auction for $5000, the other half in Thompson's for $10500. A Salor torba sold for 12500 in the non-Thompson part of that sale; the closest (though not very close) thing of Thompson's brought 16000. A large Salor 'T' trapping brought Thompson $45000 while an almost identical one (though with less peripheral loss) brought $40000 in 1965. I cannot find too many other pieces on which I can make direct comparisons. How did we get on this topic anyway?

Regards, Yon

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