Tampa Bay Times

What’s It Worth? The Mother Of All House Call Stories, Pt. 2

We left off last Sunday with Frank Stella contacted, and planning to visit Sotheby’s to authenticate his painting the next day. Sotheby’s called me after the meeting.

“Frank says it is not his.”

They explained that an artist can disavow a work if he is not happy with it, and it will be deemed “not his” even if he did create it. (Our seller had mentioned that Stella gave it to his girlfriend partly because he was unhappy with it.)

What’s It Worth? Gorham Manufacturing Tidbits

When people think of fine silver and stained glass, they think of Tiffany – but one of Tiffany’s major competitors was Gorham, which was very active in making similar items and competed with Tiffany aggressively.

Gorham artisans made stained glass windows for churches and buildings all over the U.S. The finest silversmiths in the world worked for Gorham. Some original signed renderings (small paintings called studies) are highly sought after.

What’s It Worth? Collecting A Troubling Past

We have always been puzzled by the popularity of collectible stereotypical items like African-American, Asian-American and Native-American memorabilia. These items were all the rage during America’s troubled past. Today, our customer base for black memorabilia is often people of color who seek objects from the most painful chapter in American history. (Interestingly, Whoopi Goldberg is one of the largest collectors of black memorabilia.) And it is the more bleak and reprehensible images that typically bring in the most dollars.

What’s It Worth? Auctions: What Sells. What Doesn’t.

Today, I want to talk about pieces that actually sold at auction.

We have talked in the past about the difference between retail value, insurance value, fair market value and liquidation value. Most think that the typical definition of fair market value is the auction price for a willing seller with a willing buyer, with neither under financial or time constraints.

What’s It Worth? Why Your “Awesome Find” Is Probably Worthless

Treasure hunting is a national pastime. Miners look for veins of gold or chunks of rare gems. Folks search for buried treasure with their metal detectors and giant, well-funded ships search for 18th century galleons full of gold coins.

Lots of people find treasures, big and small, every day. However, this week, we thought we might shed a little light on those finds that hold little value.

What’s It Worth? Do You Have A Museum-Worthy Piece To Donate?

At least once a week, an individual asks our opinion on whether to donate a family heirloom to a museum.

We generally encourage this if certain conditions are met. If a) it’s an important piece that will actually be exhibited, b) there has been a thorough examination by your attorney and accountant, c) it offers a true benefit to your bottom line, and most importantly, d) you are supporting a museum or educational entity you truly want to help — then it will work to your benefit.

What’s It Worth? The Value And Fascination Of Old Money

Most people know that large-size old currency notes are worth money, but did you know that some modern and Confederate currency is valuable? Old currency is fun to collect, and we have longtime customers who are serious collectors with ready cash.

Since the 1930s, American paper bills have been the same size as today – 6 inches wide. Prior to that, our currency was 7½ inches wide, which made handling and storing money unwieldy.