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Profiles in History: Multiple Topic Housekeeping on “Peer Review”, Auction House Reserves, and Online Discussion Forums

August 22, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

This article is intended to serve as some general housekeeping on recent topics related to Profiles in History and their auction events held late last month.  As public debate and discussion spanned several websites, including this one, I thought I would make a note of where topics stand with regard to a variety of topics.  I’ve also received a number of private inquiries from those in this field asking if I’ve ever received any answers for questions raised in various past articles.  There has also been a side discussion about the subject of “auction house reserves” which has taken place on other sites.  Coincidentally, today Fong Sam (formerly of Profiles in History) published an update of his own on his Haxbee.com site (see “Community Forums & Message Boards: Problems With No Easy Answers“), with additional discussion and debate about online discussion forums. Read more

Profiles in History “Peer Review” on “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” Helmet – Previously Sold as a “Henry V” Helmet?

August 3, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

This past week, as part of their Hollywood Auction 49, Profiles in History offered a helmet attributed to Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975), which sold on July 31, 2012 for $6,500 (for a total sales price of approximately $7,995 with Buyer’s Premium).  A matching item on eBay described as a helmet used in Henry V (1989) was sold on May 6, 2012 for approximately $48 (less then three months earlier).  Based on photos from the two auctions, there are a number of unique scratches and identifying marks that would suggest that the piece is one and the same.  As part of what Profiles in History calls “peer review”, this analysis will provide archives and information related to both auctions for analysis, and poses the question: was this piece used in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Henry V, both, or neither?  If anyone can contribute to this public analysis and discourse, please use the “Reader Comment” system below or contact me. Read more

Profiles in History “Peer Review” on George Reeves Superman Cape; More on 12/29/75 Western Costume Letters

June 27, 2012 by · 3 Comments 

As noted in recent articles (see Profiles in History Pledges More Transparency; Open Q&A On Website Regarding Provenance, Authenticity, Other Questions and Profiles in History Pledges More Transparency: Update & Response to “What We Are Currently Working On”), Profiles in History’s General Manager, Fong Sam, has written about embracing what they call “the concept of auctions as peer review” with regards to “verifying provenance” of material listed for public sale in their auction catalogs on his haxbee.com site.  With their upcoming sale, The Dreier Collection, Part 1, a few principals in our art market have raised questions with me privately with regards to one of the items listed for auction, Lot 106 GEORGE REEVES “SUPERMAN” CAPE FROM THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN.  Since the suggested resource on the Profiles in History website has yet to be created, I thought I would publish those questions raised with me in this article as part of the public “peer review” process with Profiles in History. Read more

Profiles in History Pledges More Transparency: Update & Response to “What We Are Currently Working On”

May 11, 2012 by · 5 Comments 

As a follow-up to the public dialogue last month between myself and Fong Sam, the General Manager for Profiles in History (see “Profiles in History Pledges More Transparency; Open Q&A On Website Regarding Provenance, Authenticity, Other Questions”), Fong has published a new response today on his Haxbee.com site (see “What We Are Currently Working On”).  Though this was touched on as closing out one of many topics, I thought it would be productive to reply with further thoughts and opinions on my part.  I am pleased to see that the topic is still under deliberations at Profiles and hope that it will eventually result in some kind of additional communications platform between them, their customers, and other interested parties. Read more

Profiles in History Pledges More Transparency; Open Q&A On Website Regarding Provenance, Authenticity, Other Questions

April 19, 2012 by · 8 Comments 

Fong Sam, General Manager at auction house Profiles in History, yesterday published an interesting article on his haxbee.com website about “the concept of auctions as peer review“, in response to a question at a panel at C2E2 (where they held their Captain America auction) about “verifying provenance“.  While Fong’s article covered a number of different topics, and referenced the concept of transparency, I thought it might be a valid exercise to ask a question/make a suggestion, to explore the possibility of the company making real steps forward in this regard.  Based on Fong’s preliminary response, it sounds as though they may actually implement a feature on their website where questions about the material that they sell can be publicly asked and answered, to the benefit of all.  If this should actually happen, I will be the first to applaud such a change in how they conduct business. Read more

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