Increasing Importance of Provenance

  • You find something in a flea market, and you know that it's actually somthing that's worth a lot of money. What a find! Now all you have to do is sell it. But nobody believes what you've found is valuable because you found it in a flea market. You don't know where it came from before that. It used to be that experts would examine pieces and pronounce on their authenticity on the basis of their experience and knowledge. Now they won't. Too many fakes and forgeries have proliferated, especially in the online auctions, and the old line auctioneers are scared to death for fear of saying something that can't be proven--they don't want to be sued. In this week's show I'll profile 2 prominent Western collectilbes that have recently come out of the woodwork and compare how the experts & the market has treated them. One is the Billy the Kid tintype that is shown in this blog. It sold at auction in 2011 for $2.3 million. The other is a tintype reputedly of Billy the Kid that the experts won't accept as authentic because there is no provenance. National Geographic did a 2 hour show on this second piece last year, and the producer of that show certainly thinks it's real. This new reality of requiring rock solid provenance for antiques and art is something that affects not only Western collectibles, but every other category of antiques as well. So, are the days of searching for sunken treasure over? Please join us this Sunday evening, July 24, 2016, for this week's show on The Increasing Importance of Provenance. We're on at the usual time: 5PM PDT, 6PM MDT, 7PM CDT, 8PM EDT. Gary