LESSONS LEARNED!!

LIFE TEACHES MANY LESSONS BUT HOW MANY DO WE LEARN?

IN THE THIRTY PLUS YEARS OF DEALING IN ART, THE LESSONS CAME FAST AND THICK AND IT WAS HARD TO DIGEST THE EVENTS, ANALYSE WHAT HAPPENED AND ACT ON THOSE LESSONS IN THE FUTURE. IT WAS NOT AND IT IS NOT AN EASY PROCESS WHEN YOU ARE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE WHIRL WIND OF MONEY TRANSACTIONS AND DEALING IN REAL MONEY AND IN THOUSANDS AND TENS OF THOUSANDS.

THUS THE STORY OF TODAY IS NOT FOR FOR FAINT HEARTED AS i SUFFERED BADLY FROM MY ILL MADE DECISIONS. THE EDUARD SEAGO OIL PAINTING IN SAN FRANCISCO HAD ALL THE ELEMENTS OF THE TOP SEAGO I HAVE EVER SEEN BEFORE 1986 AND AFTER. I MIGHT EXAGGERATE BUT I DO NOT THINK SO AS RICHARD GREEN, THE BIGGEST ART DEALER IN UK USED THE PAINTING AS THE FRONT COVER ILLUSTRATION OF HIS SEAGO EXHIBITION IN 1987, IF I AM NOT WRONG IN THE DATE.

THE SEAGE VIEW OF THE REAGTTA AT HENLEY COST ME NEAR 8,000 POUNDS IN 1986. IT WAS NEARLY ALL MY BANK AND I WAS IN A RUSH TO SELL IT AND RE-INVEST, WHICH WAS POSSIBLE IN THOSE DAYS. ONE OF THE REASONS THAT MADE ME INVEST IN THE PAINTING WAS THE FACT THAT I KNEW RICHARD GREEN COLLECTED AND DELT IN THE ARTISTS’S WORK. BEING IN A HURRY TO RECOVER THE MONEY AND CONTINUE TRADING, I FELT IT WAS BETTER TO OFFER THE PAINTING AT AUCTION, RATHER THAN SELL DIRECTLY TO RICHARD GREEN.

PAINTING FAILED TO REALISE THE MONEY I KNEW THE PAINTING WAS WORTH AND INSTEAD OF 15-20,000 EXPECTED IT SOLD FOR ONLY 9000 AT SOTHEBYS, THUS JUST ABOUT RECOVERING MY INVESTMENT PLUS A 5% RETURN WITH THREE MONTHS. IT WAS TERRIBLE RESULT AFTER A TERRIBLE DECISION THAT STILL HAUNTS ME TODAY OR RATHER UPSETS ME TODAY.

THE LESSON WAS HARSH BUT THE DAMAGE WAS DONE. FAR WORSE IT BECAME WHEN I SWA THAT THE PAINTING WAS BOUGHT BY GREEN AND WAS USED AS FRONT COVER ILLUSTRATION OF THE ARTIST’S EXHIBITION ON BOND STREET.

LESSON LEARNED?

THAT WAS 1986 AND BY SUMMER OF 1987 i WAS BROKE ONCE AGAIN BUT WITH PLENTY OF STOCK TO WORK ON AND DEAL IN. WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN PENNILESS BUT ALREADY BOUGHT A PAINTING FOR THREE THOUSAND POUNDS AND YOU NEED TO PAY?

SELL AN ASSET OR TWO AND CONTINUE. THE RESULT WAS TO SELL TO STACEY MARKS IN EASTBOURNE A LOVELY PAINTING BY LUCIEN POTRONAT FOR 1800 POUNDS AND WITHIN ONE WEEK ANOTHER FOR 1500 POUNDS IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THE PURCHASE I HAD ALREADY MADE.

YES, I KNEW THAT THE PRICES I GOT WERE LOWER THAN THE MARKET SUGGESTED BUT ONE BIRD IN THE BAG IS WORTH TEN IN THE BUSH. THE LESSONS FROM SEAGO SALE WERE POWERFUL AND SERIOUS AND MY ACTIONS IN 1987 WERE SOUND AND CAREFUL.

LESSONS LEARNED ARE SERIOUS ASSISTANTS IN ANY BUSINESS!

PETER CONSTANT

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