Heritage May 16 - 18 Comic Art Signature Auction - Chicago
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Posted (edited)
19 minutes ago, vodou said:

I think you may be confused. I reference premium re: contract, the quid pro quo for the guarantee terms. That's most often a split of proceeds over and above the strike price. I'm pretty sure that strike was 4.5m and there is nothing to split above. BP, SP, etc...who knows on that, all we can do is guess, which is what I will now do.

I'm thinking Frazetta family consignments have to be zero SP and a kickaback portion (a % only, negative SP less guarantee premium!) of BP over and above guarantee amount....but only IF over and above happens. It did not. Thus: guarantor gets the lot for bid only, House either is guarantor and gets the lot or gets the guarantee amount payment from third-party (no BP unless it's Jim and games are being played), and consignor gets bid only nothing additional to split or otherwise "take" in any manner. My guess.

Okay.     Thanks for the explanation.   Hard for me to comment  one way or another when we don't have the facts.

Ultimately I'm more liberal on these things because I view the motivations of the other bidders as being less than straightforward as well.

All of these scenarios have played out, no doubt:

1) Collector heavily invested in Artist A bids up his work to bid up the value of his holdings

2) Dealer buys back inventory ;)

3) Collector with no desire to win the auction bids up a lot that another collector is interested in (punishment bids)

....and many other such less than angelic motivations.

So, the way I look at it is control what you can control, the price you bid.     The motivations of the house and of other collectors.... being upset about that is just tilting at windmills, and being blind to that is naive.

Edited by Bronty

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1 hour ago, Bronty said:

Did anyone else notice how forced the clapping was?   She seemed to completely forget to encourage any clapping despite a 5M sale until reminded by the crowd . 

giphy.gif

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Bronty said:

For legal reasons, for the perception of a level playing field, so that the number reported is accurate, etc etc etc.

But the money coming from the guarantor doesn't necessarily need to be for the full amount.

46 minutes ago, Bronty said:

All of these scenarios have played out, no doubt

Disregarding any blatant shilling scenarios (which probably don't apply here), my overall point is that these third-party guarantees aren't even considered foul play. But they muddy up the waters so much, you can't discern any kind of comp for future sales. It creates a HUGE distortion. And no shilling shenanigans are even necessary.

Have a look at the link I posted a bit earlier. It lays it all out pretty well. This is a nice quote from it --

Quote

Why bid on a guaranteed work when the playing field isn’t level and someone else can outbid you while still paying less? After all, while the existence of the guarantee is revealed by the presence of º ♦ hieroglyphics in the auction catalogue..., the identity of the guarantor is a closely-held secret, as is the amount of money that has been guaranteed to the seller. Only one bidder knows those two crucial data points, and that knowledge is extremely valuable. ....   It’s irrational to get into a fight where your opponent has you informationally and financially outgunned.

IF EQ had a guarantor, that wasn't disclosed by HA at all (the way Christie's would, for example).

So let's say a speculator-guarantor bought EQ and not a collector-guarantor... Who/when/how much does it get sold for quietly?

Edited by BCarter27
article quote

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46 minutes ago, Bronty said:

So, the way I look at it is control what you can control, the price you bid.     The motivations of the house and of other collectors.... being upset about that is just tilting at windmills, and being blind to that is naive.

Completely and totally agree. I too only worry about what I can control - my bid/buy/pass option. The rest is fun discussion fodder and, I believe, illuminating for a certain slice of "other readers".

Now...that doesn't mean I don't enjoy tapping on the shoulder of I saw what you did there when I can. I really enjoy that. Especially for the virtue-signalers ;) and other sorts of obvious hypocrites. I can do this with a clean conscience because: I do none of the things I'm critical of. Ever. I'm not so sure (re: motivations) of anybody else on this board being able to honestly write that though. I perma-hope I'm not solo in the what you see is what you get; I never play games category. But hopes, hopes and dreams...bah!

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15 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

comp for future sales

Comps = 90% bs, except when you intimately know and trust all parties involved. How often is that? That's about how often you should use "comps" to help your bid/buy (and sell too) decisions! For me...because I trust my gut (which was heartily questioned by one long-time poster here a few years back lol ) I put comps at 25% of my "fmv" analysis, when they back up my gut lead, but only 5% when I have nothing else to lean on. Comps are for sellers not buyers, but there's a sucker born every minute...

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53 minutes ago, Bronty said:

Okay.     Thanks for the explanation.   Hard for me to comment  one way or another when we don't have the facts.

Yeah, we don't know.  I'm pretty sure based on the observable fact pattern from this and previous Frazetta oil sales at HA that there was either an explicit guarantee made, or, if not, at the very least, it was HA's plan to trip the reserve if no one else stepped up to save face and keep everyone happy.  In previous consignments, the reserve was sometimes inexplicably triggered the day before the live auction, which you would figure no real bidder would do unless that was the true maximum amount they were willing to pay - more likely, the repeated occurrence of such was Heritage signalling that the lot was going to sell and that people better step up.  

For EQ, I'm guessing they didn't trip the reserve ahead of time because they didn't necessarily want to be the ones buying it at that price. Whether they were, or, whether they were ultimately successful in getting someone else to step up (e.g., the Lucas Museum), I guess will only come out with the passage of time.  But, the bottom line is that we don't know at the moment.

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20 minutes ago, BCarter27 said:

Who/when/how much does it get sold for quietly?

Who finally ends up with this piece will be interesting. If we don't see it at all for many years (5+)...even more interesting ;)

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According to this there is an actual winning bidder: "The winning bidder does not wish to be identified at this time." I'm also hearing that Holly Frazetta, the consignor, is saying it went to a museum. I'm still leaning toward guarantee here but of the third-party variety now, and probably no BP by contract.

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55 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

Yeah, we don't know.  I'm pretty sure based on the observable fact pattern from this and previous Frazetta oil sales at HA that there was either an explicit guarantee made, or, if not, at the very least, it was HA's plan to trip the reserve if no one else stepped up to save face and keep everyone happy.  In previous consignments, the reserve was sometimes inexplicably triggered the day before the live auction, which you would figure no real bidder would do unless that was the true maximum amount they were willing to pay - more likely, the repeated occurrence of such was Heritage signalling that the lot was going to sell and that people better step up.  

For EQ, I'm guessing they didn't trip the reserve ahead of time because they didn't necessarily want to be the ones buying it at that price. Whether they were, or, whether they were ultimately successful in getting someone else to step up (e.g., the Lucas Museum), I guess will only come out with the passage of time.  But, the bottom line is that we don't know at the moment.

5m is not trivial.    The magnitude of the sale, even if it was Jim, is still pretty impressive.    And, it will be interesting to see if trophy OA lots have an easier time going past the 1m barrier with this piece having shattered it.   I tend to think that its not the ideal sale to have that kind of effect since these types of works are atypical to the market at large.    The H181 cover sale were it to happen could have that effect however.

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However this happened, it's now a legit comp. Or as legit as these things go. Anyone who is wary of it, and won't take it into consideration when bidding on the next painting of this level, will just lose out to someone who isn't. Or who doesn't care.

On the Lucas Museum possibly acquiring this...I'll believe it when I see it. But if they did, then I really have to question why they passed on "Master Race" for 1/10 the cost (or at least bid more, if they were in it at all).

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3 minutes ago, Nexus said:

However this happened, it's now a legit comp. Or as legit as these things go. Anyone who is wary of it, and won't take it into consideration when bidding on the next painting of this level, will just lose out to someone who isn't. Or who doesn't care.

On the Lucas Museum possibly acquiring this...I'll believe it when I see it. But if they did, then I really have to question why they passed on "Master Race" for 1/10 the cost (or at least bid more, if they were in it at all).

Because "Narrative Art" is a catch-all for 'stuff George Likes'?  :insane:

--and there's NOTHING wrong with that.   He's the one writing the check for the museum.

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1 minute ago, Bronty said:

Because "Narrative Art" is a catch-all for 'stuff George Likes'?  :insane:

--and there's NOTHING wrong with that.   He's the one writing the check for the museum.

Nope, nothing wrong with that at all. We all like what we like, want what we want. But what is goal of the museum? To simply reflect Lucas' tastes or to educate masses on "narrative art"? I realize it's not either/or, but IF they did acquire EQ, then that balance is tilted far one way. Whatever the case, still can't wait for it to open!

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Nexus said:

Nope, nothing wrong with that at all. We all like what we like, want what we want. But what is goal of the museum? To simply reflect Lucas' tastes or to educate masses on "narrative art"? I realize it's not either/or, but IF they did acquire EQ, then that balance is tilted far one way. Whatever the case, still can't wait for it to open!

Well.    Honestly?   Any ultra wealthy person building a museum is likely doing so at least in part out of ego.   (And so what).

There might be a bit of an education element, but fundamentally there's going to be a lot of 'look at all my cool toys' thrown in there.

I'd speculate that George wants a museum, and the museum needs some sort of stated purpose.

The stated purpose is effectively required by the desire for a museum.   The museum is not a reaction to the need to educate the masses.

As such, its always going to be, to you alluded to, more reflective of his taste than reflective of the post hoc raison d'etre.

 

Edited by Bronty

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Posted (edited)
45 minutes ago, Nexus said:

On the Lucas Museum possibly acquiring this...I'll believe it when I see it. But if they did, then I really have to question why they passed on "Master Race" for 1/10 the cost (or at least bid more, if they were in it at all).

Same. I think Lucas has become the bogeyman for all outsized sales of specialized comic/illustration art, but, as we saw with Master Race, which would have seemed to be a pretty important and obvious acquisition candidate, that is not the case. I wonder if the Nazi imagery was a turn off? 

I'm not really sure what acquiring EQ would even do for the museum anyway.  It's not like the general public recognizes this to be "the" Frazetta to have above others that they may already have or could acquire for much less.  And, thematically/stylistically, I think there are almost certainly some troublesome questions that would be raised about cultural appropriation, Orientalism (as noted by esteemed writer Glen Gold!), fetishism, female objectification, exaggerated, um, anatomy, etc. that would be sure to be raised in 2019; I don't think this piece really adds anything to the draw of the Museum. I'd even go so far as to say that a good deal of the general public would probably find some reason to be offended by it, and/or find it irredeemably kitsch or titillating. I don't really see this as advancing the art form or anything meaningful that would make it a better candidate for the Lucas Museum than a less expensive Frazetta (maybe even one or more than Lucas may already own?)

To be clear, I'm not ruling it out, as there are only a handful of people/organizations that would even be in the discussion of buying this at $5.4 million, but, it seems unlikely to me. 2c 

Edited by delekkerste

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, delekkerste said:

troublesome questions that would be raised about cultural appropriation, Orientalism (as noted by esteemed writer Glen Gold!), fetishism, female objectification, exaggerated, um, anatomy, etc. 

She does have thick thighs.    

I think the 'troublesome questions' are ridiculous, but whatever.   Not my money and not my outrage.

Edited by Bronty

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56 minutes ago, Nexus said:

However this happened, it's now a legit comp. Or as legit as these things go.

Agree but until confirmation BP was paid it's 4.5m not 5.4m.

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Here's a possible reason for a Lucas purchase of EQ:

The Egyptian Queen's outfit was the inspiration for Star War's Princess Leia's costume.

I could see THAT as a plausible reason for George to buy it for his museum. 

 

 

 

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45 minutes ago, Bronty said:

The museum is not a reaction to the need to educate the masses. 

Actually education/etc is pretty important if they're going for 503(c) (non-profit) organizational status. Not that EQ over Master Race would be the reason why they wouldn't get it, just sayin' ;)

The 'why' of it is partly ego but also a tax situation. Die with this level of collection intact and your Estate gets hammered. Pass it on now to heirs at greater than 10k (or whatever the current threshold is) per annum in present value and it's a living tax situation (at the giver's rate not receiver's). Create the Trust and then 'donate' to your own non-profit museum...lotsa wins on that one!

Too lazy to look this up, is Lucas going for non-profit or will it just be a private for-profit enterprise?

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17 minutes ago, vodou said:

Actually education/etc is pretty important if they're going for 503(c) (non-profit) organizational status. Not that EQ over Master Race would be the reason why they wouldn't get it, just sayin' ;)

The 'why' of it is partly ego but also a tax situation. Die with this level of collection intact and your Estate gets hammered. Pass it on now to heirs at greater than 10k (or whatever the current threshold is) per annum in present value and it's a living tax situation (at the giver's rate not receiver's). Create the Trust and then 'donate' to your own non-profit museum...lotsa wins on that one!

Too lazy to look this up, is Lucas going for non-profit or will it just be a private for-profit enterprise?

I'm sure that very sophisticated people have mapped out the best possible result to mitigate the cost of the gift but at the end of the day you are still giving your wealth away.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, artcollector9 said:

Here's a possible reason for a Lucas purchase of EQ:

The Egyptian Queen's outfit was the inspiration for Star War's Princess Leia's costume.

I could see THAT as a plausible reason for George to buy it for his museum. 

That sounds plausible. A bad idea, I think, but, plausible. I mean, Disney has already done away with the Slave Leia costume in media and merchandising because they felt it was out of step with the way society is going (or, alternatively, you can say they caved to outside pressures for financial reasons). Is it really worth $5.4 million to buy something which will probably provoke similar outrage and controversy? Do we, as a hobby, want the first reviews of the Lucas Museum to all have the obligatory paragraph about "juvenile art portraying adolescent male sexual power fantasies out of touch with the times"? Because, whether Bronty thinks it's ridiculous or not...you know it will happen:sumo: 

I just think this piece is a liability for a museum more than it is an asset.  It belongs in the collection of a rich, pervy fanboy!! :fear: 

Edited by delekkerste

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