What's It Worth? Gifts from Juan Perón to his Personal Physician
We received a call from a California jeweler with an incredible estate. A relative of the infamous doctor James Poppen — and a dear friend and confidant of Juan Perón, the president of Argentina — had decided to sell Poppen’s estate. It is hard to assign value because of the heavy gold content, so we were able to purchase at 25 percent over gold. While the retail value on each piece might be in the high hundreds to thousands, we were able to buy the entire collection for $15,000.
What's It Worth? To Clean Or Not To Clean
One of the most enduring debates in the world of fine art and collectibles is more nuanced than just whether or not to clean an item.
This controversial subject is generally debated in a cerebral and studious manner among aficionados, experts, collectors and academics. But often the discussion turns ugly. I have never seen fisticuffs or weaponry used, but believe me, the discussion is passionate.read more
What's It Worth? Magical Art Nouveau
As merchants, we like to make a profit – but we made a decision 20 years ago to make a little profit on every sale instead of doubling our money on each one. This has always worked for us, and because of that, we try to buy more expensive things in the $2,000 to $100,000 range. The reason is that working on small profits on low-priced items doesn’t work well in 2020 because overhead is staggering.read more
What's It Worth? The Esthetic Silver Movement
While silver value has suffered over the past few years because of changing tastes and less formality, one of the few styles that command prices above silver value are from the esthetic silver period.
This movement was an artistic reaction to the starkness of the Victorian age and celebrated art for art’s sake. Works were often characterized by flourishes and unusual shapes. Popular during this time was the medallion style, which showcases a face or head of a person (or goddess or other entity) in cameo form.read more
What's It Worth? A Case of Sketchy Provenance
In the world of miniature provenance, this should be a real winner! It is an example of American miniature art and even has handwritten provenance. Add to that it is early American, circa 1840, and is of Southern origins. Southern-state items tend to bring a huge premium among collectors.
What's It Worth? Comic Book Collections
I first started collecting comics 1978 when comic book collecting was in its golden years, and there were shops on almost every city corner. My personal preference was for Steve Gerber, who did Howard the Duck and other unusual comics; plus Jack Kirby, who wrote Captain America, Thor and others. Back then, we kept our comics mostly unread in plastic sleeves.read more
What's It Worth? Art of the Counterculture
The 1960s were a turbulent time and to many, an era of renaissance in art. Music posters from 1965 to 1975 that advertised bands like Big Brother and the Holding Company, Jimi Hendrix and others are highly sought after.
Music and politics intertwined during this fertile period and the early, colorful psychedelic work of Peter Max is treasured much more than his later, more mundane works.read more