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The FBI is looking for you. No, this is not a recruiting article for the nation’s police force, actually they are looking for people who may have lost paintings and artworks to thieves. It seems that the artwork was left behind by one William M.V. Kingsland after he passed away in 2006. His collection of over 300 paintings which were part of his estate were then turned over to a couple of auction houses to sell. However, things started to come to light when a collector bought a John Singleton Copley portrait and started doing research on the piece. What the collector found to his surprise was that the painting had been reported stolen from Harvard University in 1971.
Mikey buys a ticket and wins the lottery. He goes to Richmond to claim it and the woman at the lottery office verifies Mikey’s ticket number. She tells Mikey that they will give him a $1 million check today and that the rest is prorated over 20 years, a million a year. Mikey says, “No, I won $20 million and I want it all right now!”
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This led to an FBI investigation which concluded that at least 137 works of art may have been stolen including a bust by Giacometti and a Giorgio Morandi. Some of the thefts had occurred many years ago, some as far back as 1967, which is hampering the investigation. However, the FBI is continuing to investigate and has asked the public for help. If you have information on the provenance, acquisition, or ownership of any work of art from the Kingsland collection shown here—or if you want to make a claim please contact the FBI.
This week I wrote about the value of Michael Phelps Trading Cards on the NOVA-Antiques Blog. Prices realized on eBay for a Michael Phelps trading card surpassed every speculators estimate with one card selling for over $2550. The card was an Upper Deck signed and numbered trading card from 2004. In addition, other Michael Phelps memorabilia have also been commodities on the online auction site including an autographed Olympic ticket that sold for $1575 and autographed swimming caps as well as another set of signed cards that sold for $1500.
For more than 35 years the village of Lucketts in Loudoun County Virginia has been home to the Annual Lucketts Fair in the month of August. It is reported that more than 15,000 visitors come to the fair each year and why not, this fair has it all . . . live blue grass music, arts and crafts, antiques and collectibles, food, food and more food and oh, did we forget to mention the most luscious homemade ice cream in the whole world.
The Lucketts Fair is held at the Lucketts Community Center and Park on Route 15 and Lucketts Road, across from the folks at the Old Lucketts Store Antiques. The fair is a short convenient drive from West Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and the Washington, DC area. It is about 7 miles north of historic Leesburg, Virginia and just about 20 miles south of Frederick, Maryland. Proceeds of the Lucketts Fair help restore the Old Lucketts School, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Rock and Roll Museum, which is currently based in Cleveland, Ohio, announced this past week that it is opening an annex in the Big Apple. The 25,000 square foot annex will be built in Manhattan and scheduled to open in November will house many exhibits and will include memorabilia from Billy Joel and the Talking Heads’ David Byrne. In recent newspaper interviews New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg stated, “"There really isn't a more fitting spot for this museum than New York, the hometown of hall of famers like the Velvet Underground, Paul Simon and Blondie ... this is where Ed Sullivan met the Beatles, where Lou Reed took a walk on the wild side." The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which is trying to attract more financing and dollars with this move, is also looking at opening another annex in Las Vegas.
So the woman again explains to Mikey that it doesn’t work that way and that she could only give him a million today, to which Mikey replies, ''Oh, no. I want all my money right now! I won it and I want it now. If you're not going to give me my $20 million right now, then I want my dollar back!''
Ever walk into someone’s house and it is filled to the brim with collections of knick knacks and Tchotchkes to where you are afraid to knock something over? We have been to a few of those places, includingestate sales in the local area where we wonder how anyone could have lived in such a house. Then we have to examine the question, “what were these people thinking?” The answer might be, the “Antiques Roadshow” and eBay.
Ever since the advent of those two mediums, many people have felt the need to collect and not throw anything away for fear they are throwing away something valuable away. What these people fail to understand is that just because you collect it, doesn’t make it valuable. Collectibles (noun) are usually things that were made by a manufacturer for so that people could specifically collect the merchandise. Some examples of these types of companies are Ty and Franklin Mint. Ty produced hundreds of thousands of Beenie Babies that were very collectible a few years ago. Franklin Mint has offered many different collectibles in various genres.
However, because of the amount of product that these companies produced, their collectibles may not be worth as much money as collectors may think, unless you have a rare, one of a kind, or unusual piece. These collectibles may not have much monetary value, but in the end if it is what you like, then it may have a different value to you and you alone. The bottom line is, in most cases, you won’t get rich owning one of these collectibles although there are exceptions, such as trading cards.
There are other things that were not specifically made for collectors but designed to have a function in our daily lives, such astoys, stamps, coins, jewelry, painting and glass. However, these items can become collectible (adjective) because of their appeal, rarity, beauty and demand. Although these items may always be in demand, the prices of these items can fluctuate depending on interest from collectors. However, in a lot of cases their price will appreciate in the future.
An example of this is the recent record auction sale of an Elvis Presley jumpsuit that was not intended to be collected when originally designed and manufactured. The demand however was high recently because of the anniversary of his death was in August. So what should we collect in order to get rich in the future? The bottom line is that we just don’t know. Maybe we should all look for a Michael Phelps trading card or a Martin Johnson Heade painting. So the old adage applies when collecting, buy what you like and what you will enjoy for now, if it becomes collectible and valuable in the future then so much the better.