Auctions Hide Treasures but You Have To Be There!


Never Accept Anybody’s Mistakes! Demand Compensation!

2nd August 2015

Williiam Page bought 1988 and sold in 1989 and 1992

A long experience is the biggest teacher in anything. Forget degrees, forget studies, forget academic years on their own! The actual practice of what one has studied, worked on, laboured and acquired invaluable experience is the tool to use to make a better future for oneself!

However, there are experiences, knowledge that assist one in life without necessarily having to go through the same pain or actually discover it yourself. My experiences here I share with you the readers. I hope you find them valuable and useful.

The Page watercolours sat with me for a little. I framed them well and decided that it was time to cash in one. The Greek man with a Hukkah was taken to Sothebys for sale in 1989. I was sure the watercolour was by William Page but the expert in charge did not accept my attribution.

She catalogued the work as follower of William Page and as such it was sold for 600.00 on 7th June 1989, Lot 151 in a Sothebys Topographical Sale in London. I was happy with the amount sold, it cost me in total about 40.00, but never happy with the attribution.

One has to respect auction’s opinions and if you do not, they determine in most cases whether to offer a work of art described as the vendor wishes or as their expertise says.

Their expertise always wins be that correct or wrong. Even if you disagree with them but you need to sell, that forces the issue to their right to sell or not. Their main purpose is to protect themselves and their clients from nasty litigation.

Life carried on as normal after the sale. Surpise, surprise, surprise! In October 1992 I had a minor surprise when in the Topographical Catalogue of Sothebys of 21st October 1992, the same Page watercolour appeared for sale again but this time round it was described and fully attributed to the artist as William Page. That was an insult to me but more so because the expert in charge was the same lady who made the attribution when the piece was sold on my behalf in 1989.

The painting sold on 21st October 1992, Lot 24 for 2000 pounds.

I was unhappy because I felt I was the victim of an expert and immediately I complained to her and Sothebys of the event and demanded compensation. They could not deny my claim. It was the same painting, it was sold by them twice, the photographs were speaking loudly on their own and the expert had to compensate me with a one thousand pounds for here mistake.

I knew what to do in a case of miscataloguing that ended in loss of income on my behalf. That is why, if you are involved in art investments you need to know the small details of buying and selling at auction and your rights vis a vis auction responsibilities!

Next entry will be about a similar event that I believe the vendor had no idea about!!

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