Time Spent Researching Artist’s Signature Can Pay Off

Diego Rivera

If you came across a quality painting with only the initials “CC” signed, would it be worth your while to find out if this might be something of value? On the one hand, the time researching might pay off handsomely, but on the other hand, the time spent researching might add nothing more than another layer of knowledge, possibly to be used next time around.

This is the way it is in the Fine Arts business. You’ll often find signed paintings, but can’t decipher the signature. It may take you a lot of time researching and there’s a chance you’ll come up empty handed. But, the rewards of finding something valuable are fantastic. I found a painting one time that I knew had to be painted by a talented artist, but I couldn’t read the signature. My only solution was to go through the entire set of signature books I had, so I decided to do this. About halfway through the first book, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I found a direct match. At this point, I still didn’t know the value of my piece, but once I saw this artist’s signature in the book, I knew he was a listed artist and I could track this down.

I grabbed my Davenport’s Art Price Guide and quickly look him up. I discovered that the $150 I paid for this painting had been well spent. The least expensive of this artist’s work brought $5,000 while his top sale was over $82,000. I soon sold this painting for just over $12,500. If I had paid myself $200 for the time I spent researching, my profit still would have been over $11,500. Not bad for a little work.

Remember, we are looking for things others miss, and often the point where they walk away is when there’s a signature that isn’t clear. How many people do you suppose looked at that painting and thought that it just wouldn’t be worth the effort to research it.

There are other things people walk away from in the art world. For example, many famous artists used only initials to sign their work. If you don’t have a book on these monograms, then they’ll mean nothing to you. I use the American and European set of books called “Signatures and Monograms” by John Castagno. If you can find these used on the Internet or through Abesbooks or Amazon, they could be like gold to you.

In these books, you’ll also learn that artists often painted under more than one name. A woman may have painted under her maiden name, as well as her married name. These books also contain sections on indecipherable signatures and the symbols some artists used on their paintings.

You will also find where artist often painted under more than one name. A lady for instance my have painted under her maiden name and also her married name. They also have a sections in these books on indecipherable signatures and symbols that some artist used on their paintings.

Back to my original question – if you found a painting marked “CC”, would you take the time to research it? If you did, you’d discover it was painted by the famous artist Jean Baptiste Camilla Corot, and it would be very valuable. If a painting is signed, “Picasso” most people would pay attention, but if it had the initial D with the number 32 after it and you researched it, you’d know it was by Diego Rivera and it was time to snatch that up. And what if you could buy one of these for just a few hundred dollars, because somebody didn’t know what it was. The record for one of Rivera’s works is over $1,500,000. Like I said in my book, let’s spend our time where the money is.

One of our members just emailed me about a painting she purchased for $1200. If it’s genuine, it’s worth over $28,000. I have my fingers crossed for her. And presently, I’m researching a painting that could very easily be worth $65,000 or more. I’ll share the results with you when I get them, and it wouldn’t hurt to have your fingers crossed for me, too.

There are other sources of looking up artists, such as AskArt.com, ArtNet.com and ArtPrice.com. These are subscription based services. If you’re a member of the 31 Club, rather than subscribing to these yourself, you can give us a call and we’ll check the name and prices for you. That’s just one more advantage of being a member.

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Summer Flea Markets and Antique Markets

Daryle Lambert’s 31 Club Blog


Cindy and I will be attending the first antique market for us this summer; the Randolph Street Market Festival, formerly the Chicago Antique Market. If Cindy can get our new video camera operating right, we hope to have some video to share with you of our adventure at this urban market and festival, including a visit with Sally Schwartz, who owns the event.

If you’ve been following our blog, you might recall that Sally is a member of 31 Club, and last summer, she sold a valuable Pauline Palmer Painting that had been in her family, and its six digit figure sale changed her life. She was able to buy out her partner’s share of the Chicago Antique Market and make it her own. (Here’s the story Cindy wrote about it.) We sure hope that if you’re in Chicago this summer, you’ll pay a visit to this fine summer urban market.

This visit to the market will give Cindy and me a chance to reacquaint ourselves with the new dealers we met last summer, as well as a chance to visit with old friends.

I have been assured that there will be great paintings, pottery and glass, so you know I will be feeling as if I’m near heaven as I browse around inside and out for true treasures. Sally has wanted to create an atmosphere of a Paris Festival, and with her talent, I certain it will be just that.

Remember to take your time as you approach each booth at a market or flea market, and see if you can pick out the better pieces from a distance. As you practice, you will be able to eye the items that are of interest, and the other items will quickly pass from your eyesight. When I started attending Flea Markets, it was an all day job, but today I can usually complete a market in under four hours, regardless of its size.

When you do spot something of interest, be sure to inspect it for damage first, and then ask the dealer to tell you all he knows about the piece. Often, you will know as much as he does, but be sure to be attentive. If it happens to be something you want to buy, your attentiveness will start you out on his good side.

Before you start negotiating for anything, always identify yourself as a dealer. This usually assures you of at least a 25% discount, while the normal discount to the public is 10%. Other dealers know that you must be able to make a profit from the items you buy, so most of them will work with you. If for some reason you can’t come to an agreement on price, be sure to return later. If the item is still there, take another pass at it. If the pieces is over priced, most dealers will know that you are aware of this, and a 50% discount can be in the cards and may well be accepted.

The later in the day, or later into the event, the lower your price should be. The reason for this is that if you are the first to see a special piece, then the dealer could have it underpriced so a very little discount could be in order, but as the sale progresses more and more people will have looked at the piece, so at the asking price it probably isn’t a bargain, if they have passed on it.

I will be leaving for the Smokies next Thursday, so I hope that every member will use these next few days to prepare for the ten days I will be away. Yes, I will have my cell phone for you if that special items becomes available, and I’ll have a laptop to continue the Blogs, but I do hope to rest a little and have fun with the family.

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Daryle Lambert: Live a Funded Life


What’s your number? No, not your phone number, but what’s the number in dollars that you will personally need in order to finance your life during your golden years? After you’ve paid to send the kids to college, that is.
Oh, you don’t have money to send the kids to college? Sure, you can jump through the hoops to try and get grants, the kids can try to get scholarships, and heck — they can even get their own loans. You could get lucky and win the lottery. But, I’m asking you this: If you knew of a way to have enough money to send the kids to college and have enough money to live a funded life during your golden years, would you want to know what that way is? Wouldn’t you want pursue it?
“Well, Daryle, what’s that got to do with Antiques, Collectibles and Fine Art?” Everything!
You see, in the Antiques, Collectibles and Fine Art Markets, making money to stash away for your golden years is so much more effective than anything else. I swear it’s true. I’ve been in the financial securities business. I know how it works. You’ll make the money a whole lot quicker in these market than your banker or stock broker could ever make for you in the financial markets. And you’ll have a lot more fun.
Now, it won’t happen overnight. I’m not talking about getting rich quick. But it will happen faster than it does in the stock and bond markets when you follow a plan.That’s what my book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles is all about. That’s what the 31 Club is all about.
We are all working diligently at accumulating a stash of cash, buying, selling and reinvesting right here in the greatest market around — the Antiques, Collectibles, and Fine Art Markets. We’re meeting wonderful and interesting people, learning more than we thought possible, and we’re having loads of fun doing it.
The plan we work with is right in the book, and the help you get to follow it is through the 31 Club. My staff and I are working the plan right along with our readers. And we’re showing a 7,500% return on our initial investment right now– only 8 months into it. And we still have a few items in inventory awaiting sale for even more cash. We’ll use that to fund our next buys.
I show you how to do all this in my book. Then, I continually guide those members of the 31 Club who call me. I show you how you could be assured of living a funded life by working with this plan. For those of you who are sitting on the fence, only reading the Blog day in and day out — What on earth are you waiting for?
Who buys the book and becomes a member? We have young, old, wealthy, and just getting by. We have those who are almost broke, broke, widows, widowers, singles, divorced, in middle school and in college. We have people from all walks of life and professions. There are seasoned antique dealers and people who’ve never known a lick about antiques in their life.

But we have one common insight: We all know it’s going to take a lot of dollars to continue to live well anywhere in the world. We have one common thread: The desire to learn and be active in directing our lives. We have one common goal: To live a funded life, and have fun getting there. Who will fund your life?

Learn about Antiques & Collectibles and Learn How to Invest in Antiques & Collectibles. We use a wealth building plan to get the most out of buying and selling that will help you accumulate enough wealth to last a lifetime. Join the 31 Club. When you join today, you’ll receive my 200 page book, 31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles, FREE.

“…I spent about 15 years in the antiques and collectible field
and I can tell you this is one of the best books you will ever
read about making money with art, antiques and collectibles.”

Skip McGrath, Auction Seller’s Resources & EBay Powerweller

“It has been a great pleasure knowing Daryle for more than
10 years. I share his excitement in releasing this book. He is
a man of his word.”
Riley Humler, Cincinnati Art Galleries
Consultant, Antique RoadShow

Want to read more about the 31 Club? Read an article here. If you haven’t yet had a chance to see what we’ve got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We’ve got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you’d like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us.Go to Our Homepage.

EBAY CHANGES. You Heard Them Here First

Photo From T&J Powersellers on Ebay

Yes, there are many people writing about the up coming changes at eBay, but you heard them first in our blogs and press release on October the 4, 2007. In my opinion, the changes are going to be good for the customers and should strengthen eBay’s position in the market.It was no surprise to me that Meg Whitman decided to step aside. Why shouldn’t she? What a ten year run! She took the company from one, that at times, didn’t know if it could keep its doors open to a company that is known around the world as one of the most profitable enterprises on earth.

The timing is right for her departure, and I suppose becoming a billionaire might have given her an incentive to depart. Why risk her legacy on the changes that are about to take place?

She is a very smart lady and knew that the growth the company has experienced over the last ten years can’t be sustained without dramatic changes. And these changes come with no guarantee that they will produce the desired results. So, yes, it’s time to turn it over to someone else.

What does this mean for the company and it’s competitors? First, as I wrote in October, if eBay does away with the listing fees, it will be a disaster to its competitors. They have been testing this plan for several months now, while at the same time raising other fees to see if that would offset the loss in listing fees. To the customer, this scenario could be a great bonus. They could list more items and not worry about having to pay fees if their item doesn’t sell. I personally think that by eliminating competition and keeping more of their sellers listing more items would be a wise move.

There are a couple of things that can wreck the ship for Ebay. First, are the lawsuits that continue to come. Second, the possibility of foreign governments wanting to get involved, wanting part of the action. The road might become rocky for eBay, but I think the long term outlook for this company is very favorable.

Ebay will always play a very important part in the future of the 31 Club, in the Antique & Collectible business, as well as the Fine Arts business. In the last few months I have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of some of the most knowledgeable people in the use of Ebay and other online auctions around the world. I’ll be introducing them to you so your auction experience can be tremendously enhanced by their expert guidance. We’ve already featured the OnlineAuction.com and will continue to tell our members that presently, this company offers some great advantages if you are a seller.

The secret in this business is balance, and that means knowing our markets and where your items fit best. The Internet is just one component in the future success that you will achieve, but it is also a very important one.

The 31 Club aims to keep you ahead of the curve, both in information and in trends. Knowing when to buy items, such as Lotton Glass, and also when to sell items, such as prints, will prove to be invaluable to you. and this is the service that we will be providing our members.

Your destiny is in no one else’s hands but your own. Go for the golden ring.

Join me and the rest of the 31 Club right here. You’ll get my book, “31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles” for FREE. Or, if you’re not quite sure about joining and have some questions you’d like to ask me, or just want to talk with me, E-mail me at info@31corp.com. I’ll personally see to it that we set up a time to talk with one another.

Discover how the 31 Club, together with my book, “31 Steps to Your Millions in Antiques & Collectibles” can be the tool that helps you begin building personal wealth using antiques, collectibles and fine art. Find out more about joining our growing community of antique and art wealth builders here.Need to read more about the 31 Club? Read an article here.If you haven’t yet had a chance to see what we’ve got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We’ve got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you’d like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us.Go to Our Homepage.If you wish to leave comments use the ANONYMOUS button and then you don’t have to sign in to leave your message. Chime in and participate with us.

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.
Discover how the 31 Club, together with our book, can be the tool that helps you begin building personal wealth using antiques, collectibles and fine art, rather than the conventional methods of using stock, bonds, and real estate investing. You won’t find results like these through your bank or your stock broker! Find out more about joining our growing community of antique and art wealth builders here.

Read more about The Million Dollar Challenge 31 Club members are participating in, here.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see what we’ve got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We’ve got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you’d like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us.

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Caution Necessary at Commercial Art Auctions

Marcus Glenn Painting.

I was privileged to have been invited to a charity art auction last night. Although knowing I would be accompanied by three fine ladies, my wife Vickie, approved of my going. You see, these ladies were all members of the 31 Club, and Marsha, whom I’ve mentioned in my previous blogs, is a member of my church.I’ve had the pleasure of talking over lunch with these three ladies over the past few weeks, and I have helped them form a partnership where they will be committed to fulfilling the 31 Steps with us. I wish I had more of our members leaning on me for information and assistance, but I am sure that will be coming.

When we arrived at the auction, artwork was lined up along the walls as if it had just come off the truck. In fact, they didn’t even take the ear pads off the paintings. I took a quick look around and could see that this was definitely a commercial sale where the artist’s works had very little, if any, auction records available. I knew there wasn’t anything of interest to me that would be auctioned, even though it was for charity. While there were works by Peter Max and a few other names you might recognize, most of these were works on paper and limited editions. I rarely buy anything on paper, as its value just isn’t there.

While the gentleman conducting the sale gave it his all, and I would want him to work for me any time, there was limited interest in the auction, and it actually never got to be much of an auction, in my opinion. Usually the first bid was the last bid. While the auctioneer was both fun and well-informed when it came to art and the art world, he was working with a crowd that had little interest in what he was selling and did not participate much. So, why were we there?

Most of the people there had a strong interest in their community and wanted to help the charity, if they could. We were also served a great meal and free beverages. I also believe that some of the people would have bought, had the prices been more what they expected — moderate. I am fairly certain the high prices caught many off guard.

If you are invited to this type of auction, often times held on cruise ships, it is fine to go. But be very cautious about what you buy, unless it is to decorate your home and you are willing to pay the price they are asking. Don’t get caught up in the event, however. I consider what I saw last night mostly to be decorative art with no intrinsic value.

There was, however, a high point in the evening for me. An artist by the name of Marcus Glenn was invited to show his works and speak about himself and about what art means to him. His pieces immediately caught my eye, and I believe this young man has a tremendous talent and future. If I had a wall in my house to hang anything else, it would be one in his series called “Storm.” One of the signature elements of his paintings definitely appealed to me. Each piece has a wooden flooring that is different colors. As he explained it to me, this is his way of thanking God for making us all different.

Discover how the 31 Club, together with our book, can be the tool that helps you begin building personal wealth using antiques, collectibles and fine art, rather than the conventional methods of using stock, bonds, and real estate investing. You won’t find results like these through your bank or your stock broker! Find out more about joining our growing community of antique and art wealth builders here.

Read more about The Million Dollar Challenge 31 Club members are participating in, here.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see what we’ve got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We’ve got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you’d like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us.

LINK: Marcus Glenn

Wealth Building with Antiques, Art & Collectibles

We’re busy as bees these days at the 31 Club, the industry’s only Antiques, Collectible and Fine Art Wealth Building Club and Learning Site. You will begin to see the new face of our website starting to take shape very soon. Our Daily Blog, which has become the signature of our company, will now be available right on our homepage. So, come grow with us.

Over the coming days, every page of our site will be undergoing a face lift. We hope the new feel will be fresh, and easy to navigate. Our webmaster, Chris, is doing a great job, and he never seems to get ruffled no matter what we throw at him.

One of the things that is under discussion is a way it would be possible for members be able to communicate with one another, as well as buy and sell items to other members. Strictly an opt in feature, this will help members to network with one another, and in doing so, increase their contact base. If you have any suggestions or special knowledge on this, give us a call. We’re all ears.

The next major project that Cindy has conjured up is to have more video on the sight. We might have to get a better looking stand in for that one! But seriously, if there is something special you want to see on video, please e-mail me your ideas.

We hope to soon announce the date of our free seminar here in the Chicago area. Cindy keeps assuring me that we will have enough energy for all this, but please keep us in your prayers.

With the help of Michael Hudson of Antiques-Collectibles-Auction-News.com, we are beginning a massive program to expose ourselves to many more people on the Internet. Michael’s news site has set the Internet newswires on their heels, getting thousands of new hits each week after having just started in August. Be sure to take a look at his site. You will find that Cindy and I are contributing writers on it.

Great new stories to keep you abreast of the industry and its events are also available from Philip at News-antique.com. Philip sent out the first press release we ever wrote to media outlets all over. And we continue to release stories on his site. What a great help he is. Phil also runs BigNews.biz, a business news site with free press release distribution services. See if your business might benefit from this source.

Both Phil and Michael have been willing to offer their time and their help to us, and we consider them a member of our team. They are a living examples of what it means to help those in need. And believe me, when we started out, we were really in need of help. Still are. Thanks guys! That’s what the 31 Club is all about. Helping one another.

Everyday I am getting more excited about what we are building together. Call your friends, tell your neighbors, and come on in. We’re going to have fun together while we learn to build our wealth with antiques, collectibles and fine art, step-by-step.

Discover how the 31 Club, together with our book, can be the tool that helps you build more personal wealth dealing in the rare and valuable upper end markets, rather than the conventional methods of stock, bonds, and real estate investing. You won’t find these kind of results with your bank or your stock broker! Find out more about joining our growing community of antique and art wealth builders here.

Read more about The Million Dollar Challenge 31 Club members are participating in.

If you haven’t yet had a chance to see what we’ve got listed in the 31 Gallery & Marketplace, click on over and take a look. You might even find a real bargain. We’ve got many high quality items priced reasonably. If you have a high quality piece you’d like us to find a buyer for, why not consign your item to us. No high fees when you sell with us. Contact us here.