I SHIPPED THREE PAINTINGS TO FAR AWAY LANDS FOUR DAYS AGO!!!
THE PUZZLE IS THERE TO BE SOLVED!!!
WHEN YOU ARE IN BUSINESS AND ESPECIALLY A SPECIAL BUSINESS LIKE ART, THINGS ARE DIFFERENT TO ANY OTHER BUSINESS. YOU PACK DIFFERENTLY, YOU BOOK DIFFERENTLY, YOU INSURE DIFFERENTLY AND YOU HAVE TO JUMP HURDLES ALL OVER THE PROCESS OF SENDING A PACKAGE FAR AWAY, BEING ON HOT COALS FOR DAYS AND PERHAPS WEEKS UNTIL THE ITEMS ARRIVE TO THEIR FINAL DESTINATION.
MY STORY WILL BECOME MORE OF A STORY IN THE FOLLOWING WEEKS AND AFTER THE RENOWNED SHIPPER COLLECTED THE ITEMS IN QUESTION AND ARE ON THEIR WAY. ONE CONSOLATION,
THEY ARE INSURED.
NOT MUCH, BUT IMPORTANT TO HAVE THEM INSURED.
WHY IS INSURANCE SO IMPORTANT? FIRSTLY FOR PEACE OF MIND AND SOME ASSURANCE NOBODY WILL STEAL THE PAINTINGS AND SECONDLY THE INSURANCE GUARANTEES YOU SOME MONEY BACK, IF THE UNTHINKABLE HAPPENS. DO NOT DISMISS ANY POSSIBILITIES AND READ FURTHER.
(German, [1838-1917] A well-respected and collected artist in Germany and elsewhere who painted animal scenes with sheep and cows. Auction price range £3000- 60,000)
The work by Otto Gebler had been offered for sale at Christie’s, King Street main saleroom a few months earlier but remained unsold with an estimate of £6-8000. I attributed that failure to post stock exchanges’ effects. The painting was then brought over to South Kensington, where it failed to sell again with an estimate of £2-3000. That was very strange because Gebler was an artist with very good auction sales in Germany and elsewhere.
Soon after in March 1988 that same Gebler appeared for sale a third time at Christie’s. Was it third time lucky? Yes, it was! I was the lucky buyer at a cost of £1000! It was a fine oil painting on panel, which on a good day in Germany could sell for £5000. Admittedly it was small, but it had what was required; a well painted, popular subject and in very good condition. No sooner had I bought the minute oil painting than I shipped it to Nagel Auctions in Cologne. No procrastinating, no difficulties and no headaches at all. Sending it via the Post Office for a few pounds was easy as the painting was in total 30x20cm, including the flimsy, old frame. The consignment documents were sent and all paperwork was in place. The agreement was £3,000-5000 estimate with a reserve of £3,000 to be sold in April 1988. This was efficient, quick trading. It was the second week of April, but no catalogue had arrived yet. This was not the usual German efficiency! Nearly all auctions have their catalogues ready two to three weeks before the relevant sale and consignors receive a copy together with a confirmation of their property for sale including estimate and reserve. By the third week I was seriously worried! Where was my catalogue from Nagel of Cologne? I waited and waited in vain. Worried, frustrated and puzzled by the event, I decided to phone the auction. The telephonist / receptionist had no idea who I was and there was no Gebler of my description in the sale! My worry increased tenfold, by which time I was passed on to one of the senior directors. That alerted me to a serious problem, but what was it? “I am Peter Constant, sir. I cannot get a satisfactory answer to my problem. Can you please help me?”
“Mr Constant, I am afraid I have some bad news for you.” “What bad news?” “Your painting was stolen from our gallery!” “What do you mean stolen? Where is my painting? What happened?” “Please, do not panic,” the manager reassured me calmly. “Your painting was insured for £3000, at the reserve you set, and that you will get within the next month. Mr Constant, your property was a small painting. Two robbers rushed into the gallery and took your painting and a small carpet. We chased them for some distance and we got the rug back but not the painting. It was so small and light that they got away with it. I am so sorry to disappoint you!” He was genuinely apologetic. “Yes, yes, I see,” I mumbled. But, I was happy and relieved! The insurance sum was plenty enough for me!
I thanked him for the information, but I was not sorry for the theft. I was so relieved they would pay me at the reserve, a handsome profit on my investment in less than three months. I put the phone down and sighed with relief. Thank God it was stolen! No worries about it being sold or not! Life teaches us many lessons daily and this was a lesson I took on board even more seriously after that event.
• Unsold art should be respected.
• Have a reserve on your consignments.
• Insure your property for peace of mind with the auctioneers’ insurance or your own.
• Have peace of mind by insuring your valuable art, even though it is an expensive policy.
All auctions of mention insure anything consigned to them for fire, damage, theft etc. This is a necessary expense passed on to sellers although in many cases resented by them. The proceeds from the insurance came in by the end of May and the bank account was bulging in the thousands. For the first time since late 1986 my bank account was looking healthy, and that after a major financial disaster. My stock was substantial, but I still lacked that one important major item. Would I find it and bare the account to the bone?
INSURANCE MADE THINGS VERY SIMPLE FOR ME AND THAT IS WHY SHIPPERS, AUCTIONS ETC INSURE YOUR PROPERTY WHEN WITH THEM
UPDATE AND NO WORRIES NOW!!
ATHENS WITH STYLEA OF OLYMPIAN ZEUS AND ACROPOLIS BEYOND BY VASILIS ZENETZIS ( 1935- 2016)
I HAVE SENT NUMEROUS PARCELS WITH PAINTINGS ALL OVER THE WORLD. IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN A WORRYING TIME BEFORE SENDING THEM OUT, WHILE THEY WERE TRANSPORTED AND ACTUALLY AFTER THEY HAVE ARRIVED. QUESTIONS FLOOD THE MIND FROM ALL ANGLES:
HAVE THEY ARRIVED UNDAMAGED?
HAVE THEY ARRIVED AT THE FINAL DESTINATION OR ARE THEY WITH INTERMEDIARY SHIPPERS?
WILL THE RECIPIENTS AND PURCHASERS LIKE THE PAINTINGS OR WILL THEY RETURN THEM BACK TO ME?
THIS HAPPENED ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS THAT I ADVISE MY READERS; MAKE SURE THE RECIPIENT IS RESPONSIBLE AND PAYS FOR SHIPPING RETURN, IN CASE THEY DECIDE IN THE END THEY DO NOT LIKE THE ITEMS THEY LIKED IN IMAGES. YES, I KNOW WE ARE ALL UNDER PRESSURE TO MAKE SOME MONEY BUT I ADVISE: IN OUR HASTE, PLEASE DO NOT WASTE MONEY BY SENDING VALUABLE PAINTINGS AROUND THE WORLD THAT MIGHT BE RETURNED TO YOU AND HIT YOU LIKE A BOOMERANG.
SO WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PARCEL I SENT TO HONG KONG?
PACKING THE THREE PAINTINGS IN THE PARCEL WAS A JOB THAT TOOK ME ABOUT FOUR HOURS. WRAPPING THEM INDIVIDUALLY, WRAPPING THEM AS A PARCEL, PUTTING THEM IN A SOLID. SAFE BOX OF NO HEAVY WOOD WERE SERIOUS CONSIDERATIONS. FINALLY FINDING A SHIPPER FOR SUCH SPECIALISED BUSINESS IS NOT EASY AND NOT TO MANY INTERNATIONAL CURRIERS DO IT. FINALLY I ENDED UP WITH TNT=FEDEX, WHO I MUST SAY AS A UNIT LEFT ME WITH A LOT OF QUESTIONS, A LOT OF HEADACHES AND PLENTY OF UNHAPPY DAYS.
A. I COULD NOT GET AN ACCOUNT OPEN WITH FEDEX, AS MY OLD ON WAS TOO OLD.
B. I MANAGED TO GET TNT TO TAKE MY PARCEL AND I PAID THEM IN ADVANCE.
C. THEY PROMISED COLLECTION ON THE SAME DAY, THEN THE FOLLOWING DAY AND IT WAS ONLY ON THE THIRD DAY AND WHEN I THREATENED THAT I WILL CANCEL THE SHIPMENT, THAT A FEDEX VAN APPEARED WITHIN 30 MINUTES OF THE CALL AND COLLECTED THE ITEM.
D. FOR ONE WEEK AFTER THAT TORTURE OF COLLECTION, I LOST THE PARCEL WITHING THE UK. THEY AT TNT KNEW NOTHING OF ITS WHEREABOUTS AND IT WAS ONLY TEN DAYS LATER I WAS TOLD BY THEIR DIRECT TALK SERVICE, NOT THEIR TRACKING SYSTEM, THAT MY PARCEL WAS WAITING FOR CUSTOMS CLEARANCE AT HEATHROW AIRPORT. TEN DAYS AFTER COLLECTION AND THE PARCEL AT HEATHROW.
WHAT A FAST SERVICE!!!
E. BY THURSDAY 13TH JUNE, I WAS ASSURED THAT MY PROPERTY WAS DELIVERED IN HONG KONG AND IT WAS RECEIVED BY THE SHIPPERS, I ASKED THEM TO DELIVER TO. IT WAS SIGNED BY X, I ASKED THEM FOR A TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONVERSATION I HAD WITH THEM, WHICH ARRIVED PROMPTLY AND I HAVE ON FILE.
F. SEVENTEEN DAYS AFTER I SENT THE PARCEL, I HAD CONFIRMATION FROM THE RECIPIENTS THAT THE PAINTINGS ARRIVED. I HAVE NO INFO AS TO WHETHER THEY LIKE THE ACTUAL, PSYSICAL PAINTINGS AND WHAT THEY INDENT TO DO WITH THEM.
G. I HOPE THAT THEY LIKE THE PAINTINGS AND THAT THE MONEY I AM HOPING TO MAKE IS SAFE WITH ME SHORTLY.
I WILL KEEP YOU INFORMED OF DEVELOPMENTS AND AS THEY HAPPEN.