I arrive on this unknown forum by the suggestion of a friend. It seem that those items have been seen around the world. Good publicity for the company that advertises them.
I agree with Paul Sorensen, but I'm still forced to do some clarification, although I'm not related to this buyer. I too have encountered these items on eBay and residing in Italy, I decided to go into that. I went personally to the seller, even in the suspicion that eBay was the author of all this turmoil, whereas the value of this great online business reside mainly in how often the site is clicked (do not forget that eBay earned on the stock market, and especially in reason of popularity).
I arrive in their offices, rather elegant, and made of nice people. It is a Antiques Advisory company, they have very interesting collections covering various areas, but in my opinion their prices related to the cameras only are the result of a lack of knowledge of the market.
Nearly all other objects (I represent an institutional client and I am an expert in ancient manuscripts and antique books), the prices are appropriate, because of the documentation they provide about the authenticity and origin of the pieces. They seemed to me quite reliable, also because they are working with some investment banks.
In my opinion, certainly questionable, they did an experiment. They tried to test the online market, that in discussions with one of their agents has emerged to be unappreciated by their policy. The point is essentially another, the cause has a name and it is called "eBay" and its system that allowed many people to apply often very low prices on precious antiques that are worth much more, helping to create a philosophy of low price. I can't believe that a structure of that entity, runs the risk of burning a name for such simple and obvious error.
I repeat, I am not in any way connected with this buyer, but I feel bound to disagree on the philosophy of low prices, as well as on the philosophy of inflated prices. In both cases something is cooking in dark waters. Looking carefully at their reasons and justifications from their personal listening, by documentation they given me during the meeting and certifying the origin of these pieces, I am not to judge nor to waste too much time discussing the topic.
Everyone is free to ask what he wants for what he has. It is a law of the market as old as the business community and even this is called "capitalism." It is then up to the buyer to accept or not accept, without too much crap. Moreover, there have been mad people that paid hundreds thousands of dollars for a guitar that belonged to Elvis, or similar. This caused every similar items belonged to some fool and drug addicted singer become a famous piece of quality (the logic of "this belonged to that ...").
Is it right in your opinion, that such guitars or dresses belonged to this or that singer costs so much? in mine, not at all. I prefer spend hundred thousand dollars for a Tiffany Lamp or for an antique painting, or again for a really ancient book, than not for such junk.
Personally, when I want to buy cameras, even for personal collection, I never use to approach eBay, as well as to shop online, but I contact directly collectors or accredited auction houses that can offer collateral guaranties about the origin and the belonging of the piece. Be sure, out of the specific cameras we discuss here (that must be however verified), a camera belonged to great artists as David Hamilton or to Helmut Newton, or again referring to the sources of photography, at Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, will never cost cheap and only an idiot can believe this.
The price does not affect me much if the pieces have an history and are in perfect conditions, but it is clear that everyone has their own philosophy. I want to be objective and explicit, I think this whole story has mostly disturbed some wise guy on eBay selling the same things, and sees himself in the race over, but surely cause a great adv for the seller.
Last edited by RobertoBazza; 10-07-2010 at 04:47 AM. Click to view previous post history.