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The Original Prop Blog 2013 Year in Review: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original TV & Movie Props, Costumes and Pop Culture Memorabilia

January 4, 2014 by · 1 Comment 

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As per tradition, (see 2007 Year in Review, 2008 Year in Review, 2009 Year in Review, 2010 Year in Review, 2011 Year in Review, 2012 Year in Review), what follows is an editorial featuring my personal observations and opinions with regards to the business of buying, collecting, selling, and preserving original pop culture artifacts – looking back at the top trends, developments, and news stories of 2013. As is always the case, this is a completely subjective exercise, and merely touches on the developments and events that relate to the hobby. Read more

Gallerist Feature Tackles Auction House (Hidden) Reserves and Transparency – Heritage Auctions Leading in This Regard with Publicly Disclosed Reserves

December 2, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

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Daniel Grant, writing for Gallerist, published an interesting article a few days ago about auction houses, reserves, and transparency (see “How Low Can You Go?: Should Auction Reserve Prices Be More Transparent?”).  In his feature, he talks about how in nearly all cases, auction houses do not openly disclose the reserve (the lowest amount for which an item will sell at auction), and provides a variety of differing perspectives on how this practice impacts their respective markets and its participants.  Of the auction houses specifically discussed in the article, only one – Heritage Auction – makes it known to the public what the reserve price is for every item that they offer for sale. Read more

Mastro Auctions Scandal: Bill Mastro Pleads Guilty To Fraud & Altering Memorabilia; Faces Up To Five Years in Prison

October 11, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

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The New York Daily News lead mainstream media reports yesterday about “disgraced sports memorabilia kingpin” Bill Mastro of Masto Auctions plead guilty to mail fraud and admitted to trimming/altering a high value trading card to increase it’s value.  Mastro will be sentenced by U.S. District Court  Judge Ronald A. Guzman, and faces up to five years in prison. Read more

New York Times Article Highlights Issues of Auction Oversight & Transparency; Discusses Use of Chandelier and Sham Bids in Art Market

January 30, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

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This week The New York Times published an interesting article (“As Art Values Rise, So Do Concerns About Market’s Oversight”) about customs in the high end art market auction world that are not favorable to consumers.  Though the article is specific to the art market and New York (and their own laws, rules, and regulations), some of the issues are very much the same ones we face in the original film and television artifacts market, and is “must” reading for anyone involved in buying and selling original TV and movie props, costumes and other production material sold in the marketplace. Read more

The Original Prop Blog 2012 Year in Review: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original TV & Movie Props, Costumes and Pop Culture Memorabilia

January 7, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Original-Prop-Blog-2012-Pop-Culture-Collectibles-Memorabilia-Year-in-Review-Movie-Prop-Hobby-Editorial-x380

As per tradition, (see 2007 Year in Review, 2008 Year in Review, 2009 Year in Review, 2010 Year in Review, 2011 Year in Review), what follows is an editorial featuring my personal observations and opinions with regards to the business of buying, collecting, selling, preserving original pop culture artifacts – looking back at the top trends, developments, and news stories of 2012. As is always the case, this is a completely subjective exercise, and merely touches on the developments and events that relate to the hobby. Read more

New York Daily News Update on Mastro Auctions Scandal: Bill Mastro To Plead Guilty To Fraud, Altering Memorabilia

November 29, 2012 by · 2 Comments 

As the latest significant update to this ongoing high profile memorabilia auction house fraud scandal, the lead journalists covering the story for the New York Daily News today reports that William Mastro of Mastro Auctions will be changing his plea to guilty on one fraud count, and will admit that he “altered the world’s most valuable trading card, a Honus Wagner T206 that has fetched millions of dollars in a series of high-profile transactions”.  It’s last sale was to Ken Kendrick, the owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, who paid $2.8 million for the baseball card.  Mastro originally purchased the card for $25,000. Read more

FBI: “William Mastro and Two Other Executives of Former Mastro Auctions Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding Bidders in Online and Live Auctions of Sports Memorabilia and Other Collectibles”

July 25, 2012 by · 4 Comments 

The Chicago Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation have published a press release update regarding the ongoing investigation of alleged sports memorabilia fraud involving former Mastro Auction executives.  Prosecutors claim that William Boehn, the Information Technology Director, made false statements to FBI agents.  According to the FBI press release,  the memorabilia auction house executives “were indicted on fraud charges for allegedly rigging auctions through a series of deceptive practices, including so-called “shill-bidding,” designed to inflate prices paid by bidders and to protect the interests of consignors and sellers at the expense of unwitting bidders.” Read more

The Original Prop Blog 2010 Year in Review: News, Developments, and Trends in Collecting Original Movie Props and Memorabilia

January 6, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

As was the case in previous years (see 2007 Year in Review, 2008 Year in Review, 2009 Year in Review), what follows is an editorial featuring my personal observations with regards to the hobby – looking back at the top trends, developments, and news stories of 2010. As is always the case, this is a completely subjective exercise, and merely touches on the developments and events that relate to the hobby.  Read more

New York Daily News Coverage Updates Ongoing FBI Sports Memorabilia Fraud Investigation

August 5, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

New York Daily News sports writer Michael O’Keefe has been publishing an ongoing series of articles about an FBI investigation into the sports memorabilia industry (see Mastro Auctions Closes In Midst Of FBI Investigation Into Shill Bidding & Fraud Allegations).  Two updates have been published this week by the Daily News. Read more

Update on New York State Assembly Bill A01730/S4313B: Seeks More Transparency For Auction Houses

March 14, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This article serves as an update to a feature published one year ago (see Latest Version of New York State Assembly Bill A01730: Seeks Prohibition of Auction House “Sham” Bids Without Disclosure).  Read more

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