In response to our column, "Commodity Futures (or the Risk of Commodifying Antiques)", which you can read here, we got the response posted below. We thought we'd put it up here and get your thoughts!
Email from 12/30/08:
Guys, guys, guys--I am the author of a new book, Three Steps to Investment Success: Buying the Right Art, Antiques, and Collectibles, which you no doubt noticed on line but certainly failed to read.
I am an ISA Certified appraiser and have been a full time art and antiques appraiser for the past nineteen years, as well as having been a dealer and degreed in Art History. I suppose that I'm one of those 'experts' (maybe I should talk to my attorney?) that you dismiss so blithely in your sloppy and perfunctory article advising buyers of art and antiques not to utilize any clear strategic financial thinking when making purchases. (I'm sorry, YOUR qualifications were...?).
Your article recycled the same old illogical slogans and platitudes current in the industry for years, parroting the typical art and antiques trade 'party line' about 'buying what you like' and 'buying the best that you can afford' (why should anyone bother to 'buy the best' that they can afford one might initially ask, if that doesn't coincide with what they really like?). You sort of weave in and out of financially considered art and antiques buying, unsure of the logic of your arguments and ultimately appearing not to have carefully analyzed what you are talking about. The results of such ideas are predictable: clients with collections of expensive and ultimately valueless junk who have done nothing but 'buy what they like', buyers who interpret consideration of the 'best' that they can afford to what carries the highest price tag, an overly emotional commercial process, and ultimately an ongoing negative picture of the art and antiques industry in the minds of the rational buying public.
Guys, talk about a yawn; you might as well have saved effort and ink in you determined quest not to offer anything actually useful to the collecting public. Certainly your stance is not one which anyone could characterize as useful, enlightening or innovative in any respect.
BA, MA ISA CAPP
Ark Limited Appraisals, Inc.