Art Business: A New Trend in Prints?

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog

Using Fine Art Paintings, Antiques, Collectibles to Grow Personal Wealth

For years, I have said that prints held very little interest for me. However, my attitude might be changing for the short run.

Having worked with a lady for several months on selling her Andy Warhol prints, I told her I could no longer present them on our website when I secured a buyer at the posted price and she decided not to sell them. At the time, the price was $35,000 each for Warhol’s “Howdy Doody” and “The Witch.” I checked prices the other day on these two Warhol prints and found that they have almost doubled in price since I listed them. I know you won’t believe this– I hardly did, but the asking price for Warhol’s Mickey Mouse print is now over $100,000. For a print!!!

I might say that this is an exception, but some good fortune has come my way by this increased value of prints. I scanned the completed sales on eBay for a Marc Chagall print I’ve owned for some time, and there on the screen right in front of me was my print. And it had just finished its auction at $12,000. You can bet there will be another one listed soon.

Then, Cecil called me this morning to tell me that a print he had hanging in the booth at the antique mall where he sells many of his items, had just sold for over $1,000 and another one for over $400. These prints, by Buffet, had been there over a year, and Cecil half expected them to be just decorative wall paper to make the booth attractive.

So what is happening in the print market? Has true art has become so expensive that most people no longer can afford it? And, what do we do with this trend?

While I still have very little faith that this market in prints can be sustained, it doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take advantage of this trend while it’s here. Money is money. If people are willing to spend big bucks on prints, let’s scour the countryside for them. Be sure, however, to list each print you buy quickly, so you don’t get stuck with many of them should the market reverse course.

The only warning I would give you is to not buy prints that have a certificate of authenticity with them. Usually these pieces were produced to take advantage of the buyer by unscrupulous sellers. There are exceptions, but let the buyer beware.

To build your client base in the Art business, it will always be best to encourage them to buy the real thing, and the best they can afford. In the Art World, it isn’t how much you own, but rather the quality of each piece in your collection. If you help your clients to assemble an art collection with the best they can afford, always putting their best interest above making money, they will be your customers for life, and you will become the person other people will look to for advise in building their collections.

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The Changing and Cycling Markets in Antique & Fine Art

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog


European Pottery – Early Amphora Stellmacher Teplitz Floral Pottery Vase. Priced at $450 through

A few years back, if you paid too much for a good piece of Rookwood, Grueby, Newcomb or even Roseville pottery, all you had to do was wait a week or so and it would prove to have been a bargain. Noting the results showing at auctions, as well as on eBay, I think those times have changed. In fact after discussing this with a very good friend of mine in the business, he agreed. Good pottery will always be good, but as I checked some of my price guides I found that the pieces were bringing only 50% or less of what they did two years ago. The top spot in the market has gone into other areas such as Paintings, Folk Art (Decoys), Antique Guns and so many other items that today, are commanding record prices.

This isn’t to discourage you from buying pottery but only a suggestion that before you do check current prices, and don’t depend on the price guide. If you have become adjusted to the old prices on pottery, it may take a while for you to get accustomed to offering the lower prices, but after a while it will seem normal again. One reason for this market adjustment is that American Art Pottery has primarily been for the American Market, and as the economy has softened, so have the desire of collectors.

For some reason the Art Glass Market doesn’t seem to have had this same result. I haven’t noticed the same decline in glass as I have in pottery. But still keep your eyes open to see if this trend will begin in glass as well. Over the last forty years, I have seen this type of cycling in the marketplace. Twenty some years ago, you couldn’t give paintings away, but today, they are setting records at every auction.

Years ago, in the basement of a home I was called to, were 500 or more pieces of Roseville pottery in all the valuable patterns. I did buy some of them, but if I wanted to, I could have filled my pickup for less than $1,000. At the peak of the Roseville market, I might have been able to reture on what that collection would have sold for, but today, that purchase might have been just an average day’s work.
It’s important to keep your eyes on the next great thing collectors are searching for. While many items have decreased over the last year, Lotton Glass, for example has more than doubled on the secondary market, and might just be getting started its rise.

Political Memorabilia is one collecting area that I’ve been sharing with you recently, and the next several years should be great area of focus. If you are a member of the 31 Club, (and if you’re not, why not?) you’ll notice that the same old standard items didn’t make my “What’s Hot List”. In fact, I’ll guess that there are even a few items on this list you’re not familiar with. . I do have a confession to make, however. I included Roseville on this list because I thought it might recover from the beating it’s taken over the last few years due to reproductions coming onto the market. I might have been a little early in my prediction.

You may want to widen your horizon and begin including Asian and European items in your search list. With the dollar so weak, it wouldn’t hurt to court the overseas market as part of your plan. Remember, the plan is to buy right. To do this, staying current with the markets is of the upmost importance.

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Value in Fine Art Paintings

What Really Counts When Looking for Value in Fine Art Paintings?

I often see art work that might be several hundred years old but sells for under $2,500. Wouldn’t something that old be worth so much more? So many of the older paintings are not signed, so unless you have provenance, meaning a record of ownership from the time it was painted, most likely the price for it will be rather meager.For example, I bought a painting in Kansas City years ago and thought I was going to strike it really big on this one. It was a Madonna from the 16th century, and I was almost certain it had been painted by one of the great masters. Paying considerable money to have it authenticated, I found out it was probably from one of the masters studios, but not by the master himself. I had paid $2,500 for this painting and sold it for only $3,500 two years later. Needless to say, I was greatly disappointed, and I learned a valuable lesson I won’t soon forget.

But, age is only one element in your search for value in paintings.

Subject matter is also an important element. Some subject matter is in more demand than others and is an important consideration The Kentucky artist, Harvey Joiner is an artist known for his landscapes, even though he painted portraits the first twenty years of his life and painted portraits of the first five Indiana Governors. So, it will most likely be this artist’s landscapes that bring the best value. When I was able to pick up a portrait Joiner had painted at an unbelievable price, I was hoping it might bring as much as his landscapes, today. It was a rather large painting, and Joiner was quite masterful in his portraiture. Now if you looked at size and compared it to the selling prices of his landscapes, which are much smaller, you’d think it could possibly bring in $15,000 to $20,000. But it brought in $3,700. This piece was signed by a great artist, but not what the buyers were looking for that day, and maybe not any other day. But as a buy on my part, it still brought in over twelve times what I paid, so it certainly fit the criteria for having bought it in the first place.

Locating paintings by a listed artist who has sold at auction, is another component. Having sold at auction gives the public a comparison as far as pricing. If you find a painting that a person can’t find any record of, your chances for getting top dollar for the painting are slim. Also, often living artists don’t have enough of a body of work for many people to collect. This means that the number of paintings the artist has produced can have a bearing on his value. I often say that if you found the greatest painter in the world, but he only painted one painting, the odds are that the piece would never have any great monetary value. Services such as AskArt and ArtNet have auction prices available but are subscriber based. Members of our 31 Club looking at paintings and do not have subscriptions to these services, can call us for help. We’ll explore the available information on these sites to help discover if you’ve found a listed artist, and what the particulars are about that artist, including current auction prices.

So where are we? First, being old can count if the painting is by a listed artist or you have provenance. Second, it should be a painting that is in the style people are looking for. If a painter is known for seascapes, then his landscapes are likely to bring less, as a general rule. Third, be sure that the artist has a formidable body of work so he or she can be collected.

Condition is the next issue to consider. Always check for repairs, whether they are in painting, tear repairs, perhaps a new stretcher, fake signatures (which can be detected under a black light), relining (putting a new canvas on the back of the original to give the old canvas integrity or hide repairs) and cleaning to the point that the actual painting is weak because so much of it has been removed from the surface.

Now you know why I took up buying and selling paintings much later in my career. There is so much to learn. So, I would say that while you are learning, become friends with people that are knowledgeable about paintings until you have the confidence in your own judgement. One of my largest purchases at the time, was taken to my friends at the Cincinnati Art Gallery to verify my opinion. Never hesitate to admit if there is something you don’t know.

Cindy has asked that I write several blogs on paintings, so this will be the first in a series. Be sure to keep posted. She made this request because this is an area of high interest to her, as well as many others, and today, we are going on an adventure where she hopes to find a painting that could be her first real treasure. Please wish her the best. You see, I didn’t say to wish her luck, because she has spent many hours now preparing herself to recognize a good quality piece if she sees it. You don’t need luck when you have knowledge.
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Economy Bad? Antiques and Art Markets Thriving

The Stock Market was down 250 points yesterday, unemployment rose to 5 %, plus housing sales were the worst in sixteen years. Time to panic, right? Not so fast. This might very well be the best time to be in our business — buying and selling Antiques, Collectibles and Fine Art. In fact, it might even be the best time I’ve seen in the past ten years. With all this bad news circulating on every news channel, how can that be? Let’s examine some facts to find out.
Higher unemployment means more people will be selling some of their possessions. That is good for us.The stock market might plunge and investors might need to get some quick money to meet their margin calls. I’ve certainly seen it before in my days owning a securities firm. If you’re not familiar with the stock market terminology, a margin call is when a person borrows from the brokerage house to buy more stock than there is money in their account to pay for this purchase. As the price of their stocks go down the brokerage house makes the investor put more money up so that the brokerage company doesn’t assume risk for the customer. Where will this money come from? Perhaps artwork and other antiques? It’s a good way to raise capital quickly.

Houses are being foreclosed or sold off, and either way, Antiques, Collectibles and Fine Art, more likely than not, will be coming to the market as people try to resolve some of their financial stresses. Again, these events can be times of great opportunity for us. So let’s be on the lookout and scout out these situations.

As you begin to understand the 31 Club plan, you come to realize that you won’t be hurt even if all other markets go south. How can that be? In part, this plan works on the spread between what you buy something for and what you can sell it for. With a very short time span between the time you buy and then sell, the market will have a very short time to move against you, and the spread that you’ve built into your purchase price should more than protect your profit. Combining this component with the compounding strategy, you will produce amazing cash results for yourself.

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It is hard for most people to believe, but hard economic times create the perfect time to make the most money for those with the knowledge. An important part of our plan is having cash and being able to buy. These funds will be cash that you’ve created working the 31 Club plan.( We never borrow a dime from a bank or anyone else.) In bad markets, more things come to the marketplace to be sold. Since you’ll only be buying the best, there will always be people waiting in line to buy your treasures all over the globe.

When someone needs to sell and you have the cash to buy, it’s usually a done deal. That’s why “Cash is King.” We teach our members strategic buying and selling, not buying everything in sight that might produce a minimal profit. It’s in the strategic buying and selling of only the finest and highest quality items that real cash will be produced and put you in the position to be “King.”

As your buying account grows according to the growth plan we’ve laid out, the balance in this account can become quite large. Once you’ve made your next planned buy, then quickly sold it, you’ll have an even greater amount to go on to your next buying/selling cycle. You can learn about our strategy and all about buying/selling cycles by becoming a member, here.

I have also found that in hard times the chances of purchasing multiple items increases, because people are trying to raise capital. You could always make a better deal for yourself when you are buying more than one item from a seller. If sellers have multiple items, your chance to make a great deal increases tremendously. And if you need help negotiating, we’re just a phone call away.
I have told many of you that the months leading up to the elections should hold great opportunities for us. There is much uncertainty and nervousness, and there will continue to be until November. Happy Hunting.
If you’re looking for the pathway to reach your goals with antiques, collectibles and fine art, the 31 Club can be the venue that will give you the nuts and bolts for successfully buying, selling and profiting in the 21st Century Marketplace. Join us today and rub shoulders with like-minded people.
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Harvey Joiner – Surprise Vaue in Sleeper Paintings

Just because the art world is on fire doesn’t mean that every artist will have his work available for sale in the market. Why is this important to know?Let’s take Kentucky artist, Harvey Joiner for example. Though he was exceptionally skilled in portraiture, having painted the first five Indiana Governors and portraits of prominent people of the time, he became best known for his paintings of Cherokee Park in Louisville, Kentucky. He was born in 1852 and died 1932. His work wasn’t appreciated until the last few years, and not many of his paintings have changed hands throughout the art world . Most of his paintings have stayed within the families they were painted for. If they were purchased, they were handed down through the families.

Because his paintings very seldom come on the market, his sales prices in the art guides have stayed very low. In fact, over the last ten years, you can find very few listings and prices of his work sold. If you look him up in the ASK ART guide, you will find 15 listings, and only two of these listings are over ten years old, and most of them are within the last two years.

Because of this, the prices for his paintings are way behind the market. In ASK ART his highest listing is $4,000, but I personally know that some of his paintings have brought over $10,000 when sold through private transactions. Do you think this information gives you the advantage when you spot a Joiner, knowing that if a person researched it, they could only find a value of $4,000 or less?

When you are studying painters, check to see when their last painting came up for auction. This might just give you the clue that you’re searching for. If it has been quite a while since something has sold, you can take an educated guess that the value might have appreciated several times from that sale but not be shown by the guides.

What I find is that there seems to be works from a small group of painters the market continually sells over and over. In fact, as I check ASK ART, I often find the same painting has sold four or five times in the last ten years. The term “new to the market,” often tossed around by the auction houses, to me means that no one knows what the true value will be when the painting is sold.

Let’s look and see what we can learn from this. If you’re considering making an offer on a painting, and the artist hasn’t had a piece come to market for a while, take that as a plus, because more than likely it will be undervalued. Second, if it has been several years since the artist has had one of his paintings sold, you might find that they are selling at a huge premium in the private market compared to the values that are in the guides. An example of this is a Pauline Palmer painting sold privately by one of our 31 Club members for $120,000, yet the auction guides list Palmer’s highest price gained at an auction around $50,000. Third, your study and knowledge can come into play because most people simply look at the auction record guides, then offer half of what the guide states. You might offer more than the guide shows.

One of the greatest benefits to being a member of the 31 Club is that you’ll have access to all the information necessary to evaluate a painting. When you call us and e-mail the specifics of the piece, such as size, type of painting, artist’s name, photos of the front and back, perhaps some detail shots, and a shot of the signature, we can give you an estimated value. We can even purchase the painting with you if you choose.

The main reason I now spend 75% of my time in the art field is because that is were the big money can be found. Just check the auction records in the trade paper. You’ll see what I mean.

Have you taken out your subscriptions to the Maine Antique Digest, AntiqueWeek, and The Antique Trader? What are you waiting for? These are your guides to wealth. One poor or mediocre painting bought because you read an article in one of these papers can pay for all of them for the rest of your life.

Today’s Photo is a detail from a portrait by Harvey Joiner, currently up for auction at Sohn’s Auction House in Evansville, Indiana at this weekend’s auction, beginning Friday.

If you’re looking for the pathway to reach your goals with antiques, collectibles and fine art, the 31 Club can be the venue that will give you the nuts and bolts for successfully buying, selling and profiting in the 21st Century Marketplace. Join us today and rub shoulders with like-minded people.