‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ Fertility Idols In The Marketplace Update 2013

June 7, 2013 by · 1 Comment 


With their latest “Entertainment Memorabilia” sale event in Knightsbridge on July 3rd, Bonhams is offering for public sale a second fertility idol attributed to use in Raiders of the Lost Ark with paperwork from industry veteran Kit West.  Due to public interest in discussing iconic props from the Indiana Jones films, and confusion in the marketplace with regards to the provenance and authentication of such pieces, I thought it appropriate to update my ongoing series of articles on the topic with the new information and photos (see: Raiders of the Lost Ark Fertility Idols In The Marketplace). Read more

NOTICE: Original Prop Blog Does Not/Will Not Supply Props to Dealers “jnsmcmahan”, “jsnent”, John Tarter, Billie Null, Mark Sullivan, L.A. Prop & Wardrobe, Hollywood Prop Supply, Studio West Prop, Ellis Props, et al

March 20, 2013 by · 1 Comment 


I am in receipt of a phone call today from a gentleman from Missouri, calling me claiming that he was told by an eBay dealer that the “vintage Listerine bottle from The Waltons” that he purchased was sold by the Original Prop Blog to the eBay dealer.  A simple search brought up such a listing on eBay - VINTAGE LISTERINE BOTTLE FROM TV’S THE WALTONS+ – sold five days ago by eBay dealer jnsmcmahan.  Long time readers of the Original Prop Blog will know that I personally do not find “jnsmcmahan” to be a credible dealer of authentic Hollywood memorabilia.  None the less, this notice is being published to make it perfectly clear that I have not sold anything to and will never in the future conduct any business with those behind eBay accounts “jnsmcmahan”, “jsnent”, nor anyone directly or loosely associated with such dealers or material or type/kind of material, including John Tarter, Billie Null, Mark Sullivan, L.A. Prop & Wardrobe, Hollywood Prop Supply, Studio West Prop, Ellis Props, and others.  In fact, the Original Prop Blog does not supply props or costumes to anyone.   Read more

Southern California’s NBC-4 “I-Team” Investigation into Julien’s Auctions Michael Jackson Autographs from Costume Designer Michael Bush

December 20, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

NBC-4 in Southern California have broadcast a report on their news program and published an accompanying story on their official site looking into claims made by third parties that items offered for sale by Julien’s Auctions, sourced from Michael Jackson’s costume designer Michael Bush, feature Michael Jackson autographs that are not authentic.  Read more

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 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 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 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 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 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

Alteration of Historic Lincoln Document in National Archives Highlights Issues Related to Manipulation of Genuine Assets and Authentication

April 3, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Earlier this year, a story broke about the discovery that a genuine document produced by Abraham Lincoln had been altered in order to make it more historically significant.  While the identification and preservation of historic documents is outside the scope of the same in the entertainment/popular culture memorabilia field, the story is instructive none the less, and highlights the ease with which genuine material can be altered to make it more important and valuable. Read more

Jalopnik Challenges Authenticity of “JFK Ambulance”; Barrett-Jackson Sells Vehicle for $132,000 at Auction

January 23, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

While not about original props and costumes from movies or television, this story is of interest in that it involves a public auction and public challenges over the authenticity of a high value item offered for sale – an ambulance said to have carried the body of President John F. Kennedy following his assassination in 1963 (Barrett-Jackson Lot: 1277 – 1963 PONTIAC BONNEVILLE AMBULANCE).  Read more

“Museum Collection of Superhero Memorabilia” Superman Costume Auction Results

January 23, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

As reported over recent weeks, Antique Helper offered a collection of mostly Superman-related costumes and memorabilia yesterday, the descriptions of which included caveats and disclaimers as to provenance and authenticity.  Generally, the auction results for the costumes highlighted in the prior articles were lackluster, in terms of comparable confirmed authentic examples of the same style and type of wardrobe pieces. Read more

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