Browsing All Posts filed under »Auction Houses«

Sale of First Nations Family Masks is Cause for Concern

January 24, 2013

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Two cedar masks considered sacred to a Hupacasath family have recently been sold to an unknown collector. The colorful masks, known as hinkeets, had been passed down maternal lines of the family for over a century before being sold by Seahawk Auctions of Vancouver. The masks were taken to the action house by the very […]

Russia Lists Historic Mansions for Public Auction

January 22, 2013

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There are currently 150,000 architectural monuments in Russia. According to Russian culture minister Vladimir Medinsky, a majority of them are in a “horrific condition.” In order to save these properties from ruin, Medinsky has implemented a plan to auction off the estates and mansions to private citizens who can properly care for and restore them. […]

Smuggled Tyrannosaurus Skeleton at Auction

January 2, 2013

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Described as “a superb Tyrannosaurus skeleton” that “ruled the food chain of the ancient food plains that are today’s Gobi Desert,” an Asian dinosaur skeleton recently sold for over $1 million at Heritage Actions last May. Now, The New York Times reports that the man who shipped the skeleton into the United States has admitted […]

Is Legendary Antiquities Expert Douglas Latchford a Fraud?

December 19, 2012

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81-year-old British art collector Douglas A.J. Latchford, known as one of the world’s greatest Khmer antiquities experts, has spent 55 years building his collection of Cambodian treasures. Not only is he known for building an impressive collection, but Latchford has also been recognized for generously returning of some of his treasures to Cambodia. A recent […]

Demand for Islamic Antiquities Rises Even Further

September 21, 2012

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The Islamic art market is booming. According to Iranian-born businessman and philanthropist Nasser D. Khalili, “Twenty years ago, there would be 20 magnificent pieces and four people buying,” “now there will be four major, important pieces if you’re lucky and 50 people buying.” Auction houses Christie’s, Sotheby’s, and Bonhams now hold Islamic art auctions every […]

Bargain Art Online? Surprise! It’s Fake

September 18, 2012

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Every day, shoppers purchase artwork labeled as “original” and “authentic” at closeout prices online. As the New York Times reports, these works are often fake or misleadingly labeled. The expanding prominence of e-commerce has led to a wide spectrum of Web sites hosted by artists and galleries that legitimately sell artwork online. The growth of […]

How to Launder Money Through Art and Antiquities

September 12, 2012

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With $4.79 billion in sales last year, the Chinese art market has overtaken art markets in the US and UK to become the largest in the world. According to a recent report in Business Insider, however, the booming industry is not for the love of art. Experts believe that the growth of the Chinese art […]

1970 UNESCO Convention Combats Black Market in Antiquities

September 5, 2012

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Experts say that the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property is proving increasingly effective at combating the illicit antiquities trade. They cite several factors leading to the success. First, the convention has influenced public opinion, shaped by scholars who oppose […]

More (Allegedly) Stolen Art at Sotheby’s

August 24, 2012

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There is yet another piece of allegedly stolen art gracing the pages of Sotheby’s 2011 catalog. Prosecutors have recently filed suit against Sotheby’s over a 1,000 year old statute of a Hindu warrior, according to a recent article in The New York Times. The documents claim that Sotheby’s knew the sculpture “was an important piece […]

(Another) Reputable New York Dealer Busted for Trading in Looted Antiquities… $20 million worth.

August 15, 2012

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Artinfo reports: Two weeks ago, federal authorities broke open a Manhattan storage unit to discover $20 million worth of allegedly looted ancient bronze and sandstone statues. The cache of suspicious treasure belongs to Subhash Kapoor, an Indian-born, New York-based art dealer who has sold and donated hundreds of Indian antiquities to museums around the world […]

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