Freedom of Expression- Freedom of Humanity!!

                            I am Deviating for Serious Reasons

Freedom of information, Freedom of the Press and humans was violated fatally over the last couple of day in Paris, France. We are not surprised, as this is the intention of many all over the globe; stop Freedom of the individual, so that the ones in power can dictate to us ordinary humans what we do, what we say and how we live!!

FREEDOM Fighters in Constantinople, 1860


FREEDOM is attacked from all sites and that is why Greeksinart is a site of FREEDOM for all! Slavery in all its forms is alive and thriving in contemporary forms and all of us need to stand up to it and fight back! The Paris attacks were a deliberate attempt to silence the press and mass media. That is unacceptable and we condemn it!!

Oil on Canvas or on Paper? Does it Matter?

Should it matter? Why is it so important?

Thus the oil painting is not painted on canvas but on paper. Therefore there is a difference, a minute difference/detail, which in the art world makes a big difference in value. Really?

No, the oil painting was not painted on panel/wood as described but on canvas and then laid down on panel. Does it matter at all? Surely, it is the same painting, the same artist and consequently is of the same value. Well, ideally it should not make much difference but it does and in many cases a very big difference!

Why does it matter as my story will say? Who says it matters so much? How come it does?

To be continued tomorrow 9th January 2015

It is a well accepted fact that fine oil paintings are generally more expensive that watercolours or acrylics but that is not a rule. Many artists are recocnised mainly as watercolourists and so their prices are higher for works in that medium. That is also the case for other media of execution for certain artists, who made their name by specialising in one type of medium and art.

The above statement makes it easier for the readers to understand why the market, the collectors, the investors are very specific in their investments and demands. Endurance and a better medium is always preferred by artists of importance. Thus Old Master oil paintings of today are better preserved and survived better , if painted on panel/wood. Not only the material is more durable but also much better to paint on and get images sharper, colours sharper and a longer life.

Thus we arrive to the difference of oils on canvas and paper in today's market. Canvas is a lot more durable than paper and therefore much more preferred. The markets are specific about this matter and that is reflected in the prices achieved by pieces of fine art by the same artist when painting on different media. Preference today is to canvas. Work on paper is unfortunately less popular and therefore less expensive.

Thus the call from Sothebys about the work of a famous contemporary artist I am involved with came as NO surprise. The painting in question is Oil on Paper not Oil on Canvas and that affects the price considerably. In their view the work is about three times less valuable than if it was painted on canvas. What could I do in a situation such as this since I knew that the market is so specific and so demanding. The collectors like canvas not paper and they avoid it!

It is a fact, it is reality that auctioneers accept and carry on with their business. The painting in question looks as good as a painting on canvas but thick paper looking like canvas is different and so we believe a new lower estimate will see the painting selling!

I will come back to this issue in February and after the painting has been offered for sale!!

When is Not an Investment a Gamble?

Where Does a Gamble Stop or When is a Gamble a Gamble?

6th January 2015  to 7th January 2015

The plan to invest in a piece of art starts most likely days or weeks in advance unless you are too busy to look weeks earlier or you are unaware of a possible gamble/bargain until a few days earlier. To speculate is part and parcel of everyday life. That is where fortunes can be made but also can be lost. Fine art has a large element of speculation in it and subjective view and opinion plays a major role. Is this correct, is it worth that much etc.

No such situation here with the Bonnington watercolour at Ewbank's auctioneers in Surray.  The estimate is low, the watercolour needs research of months and therefore, only a speculative bid in the low hundreds is reasonably expected in the rooms. However, nobody knows at this stage where the bidding will stop, if experts have spotted the item and research is being carried out at the moment these lines are inked.

Be back with what happens tomorrow!!


8.30 am on 7th January 2015


All up in the air. Plans, thoughts and gambles off, blown up! Up in smoke , up in the air and disappeared last night. Loved ones have the first place in ones life and that is what happened at 6.00 pm yesterday. Five hours at the hospital with my wife. Eye problem. Serious eye problem and I am back there at 9.00 today. I will be back in the evening with my news and also what happened with auction at Ewbank's. That is life as we all know!!

Apologies to all. 

8th January 2015

The auction took place but lot 232 w/colour attributed to Bonnington failed to sell. That is not surprising as perhaps the ones who know the work of the artist very well did not think it was close enough to the artist's work.

The Beginning of the Blog

My Blog will consist of an entry from Rags or Riches and a new one from today's events weekly.


Ecstatic after the first ten-pound trade

Early October 1983, London

Unsuspecting of my venture and future adventures in art I settled in London and soon enough adjusted to new routines and a new life. I secured a supply teacher’s job and an evening job as an English teacher. Having plenty of time on my hands I accompanied my friend to the couple of auctions he knew. Those were eye-opening experiences that ultimately affected and shaped the rest of my life.  Those early auctions widened my horizons and opened my eyes.  From then on my mind was on auctions and the opportunities they offered. Somehow, even in those early days, I knew that one day I would be able to play a part in the auction business.

It did not take years to happen, it took only a few weeks. I was anxious to test the waters and jump in at the deep end in spite of being inexperienced and penniless. If you have not bought anything in order to resell for profit, you might find it difficult to understand the euphoric feelings I had with my first investment and success!  Success? What success?  An investment of ten pounds turned into… 

This is not a joke. It was indeed my first purchase as a dealer of all items, a jack-of-all-trades. It was the first buy of a mega-ignoramus who dived into the auction/art business to make money without much thinking and without a plan. Far more importantly, without any knowledge about auctions, antiques or art! Had I been wiser, I would have read a little about the business. Where though?  I still have no idea.  There was nobody willing to share the knowledge.

I spotted the pair of electroplated candelabra in a local charity shop.  The price was ten pounds, which I gladly paid, thinking that I would make a fortune on reselling at auction.  I wasted no time entering them for sale in a small local auction house that my friend had shown me. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, even though just round the corner in North Finchley, London.

The auctioneer suggested a ten pounds estimate and reserve, which I was happy to accept, hoping for better than that. I had no idea whether that was a fair estimate or a very low one. I was in the hands of the auction owner who was much more knowledgeable than myself.

Happy days! First sale at auction!  Living memory! How can I forget?  It was the first time I had sold anything at auction or indeed sold anything for profit.  Naturally, I was worried and very fidgety. That auction room was good in those days. Many people frequented it and there was a lot of bidding from the floor on nearly everything.

I stood dazed and frozen at the back of the auction following the events and contemplating my riches to come.  I was honestly expecting a huge return and a major push into the new adventure I was entering. The loud clear voice of the auctioneer boomed, “Ten pounds, eleven, twelve, thirteen pounds and fourteen,” and sped like an express train, “fourteen and fourteen, sold at fourteen pounds!”  The gavel thundered down and I was speechless!

Done! Amazing! All over so quickly!  Increments of pounds and in that order!  Yes, fourteen pounds it made.  I was back to earth, but nevertheless ecstatic and so happy! I was like a child getting his first Christmas present.  I collected twelve pounds three days after the sale and it felt great.  I had made two pounds net profit!  Happy and proud of myself after that first venture into buying and selling antiques, I kept preparing for more of the same. For a beginner, a two pounds’ profit was immense, and more than that, it was 20% profit within two weeks. Watching the bidding climb by a pound each time was such a joy. It was sheer bliss, but so short! I wanted it to last much longer.

Memories are sweet, the experience well rooted.  A profit of two pounds gave me confidence for the next purchases and sales. I was to discover later that buying and selling had to do with confidence and belief in what you invested. Time and experience made me more confident, more daring and thus the game became more exciting, more exhilarating and simultaneously more emotionally and financially demanding and riskier!

Looking back I admit that perhaps my petrol to and from that auction cost more than two pounds. Did I think of that though? Never!  I was an apprentice prepared to invest time and money to learn, learn and learn! It was education with a difference! It was education in the real business world with real money and real dangers.  I had embarked on a new real life degree, but I was not aware of that at the time. I was in the zone, I was inside the zone and it was instant love for art.


My time, my expenses and investments in tools of the trade such as one-pound catalogues and the Antiques Gazette put me in negative territory very quickly.  I could not see that though as I was gradually getting deeper into the auction world, learning things, but paying dearly at the same time. It did not matter to me as I was enjoying that new world I had accidentally discovered and consciously chose to follow and make part of my life. I never regretted the few pounds investment in 1983, even though it was a serious sum of money to spend week in week out.

Peter Constant's Blog

                         Thirty Years Art Market Experience

The art market is one of the major alternative investment markets that offers the investor not only high financial rewards but also aesthetic ones too. Taking into consideration, financial, aesthetic, mental and life changing ways of working in the magical field of art, Peter Constant is launching his " Art Blog" tomorrow for all to read to commend upon! Experiences of thirty years ( see Rags or Riches) will be mixed with today's adventures and ways of working in the art world, which to some might seem intimidating but trust me, it is another business which should not scare anybody!! All

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