Nov 21, 2018

The Value of Items You Inherit

In recent years, I've been getting more and more queries from people who have inherited mounds of things from family members who traveled to or resided in Asia decades ago, before, during, or soon after World War II. Only sometimes do these items have significant monetary value. In most cases though, their value is cultural and historic. Please don't throw out your stuff if it cannot be sold without first determining if it is worthy of being preserved in a library, archives, or museum collection somewhere.

How to Preserve and Organize Old Photos

The Washington Post has an article that is a good, simple guide to helping people preserve and organize all their old family photos. See it here.

Jul 30, 2018

CPAC – Building A Wall Against Art Part I: How the Executive Branch Controls US Access to Art and Artifacts

"The art world is dominated today by stories about spectacular multi-million dollar sales of contemporary artworks at shows and auction houses. Yet the market for ancient and ethnographic artworks has no such lofty expectations. There are far fewer important ancient artworks offered at auction in the US than just a decade ago, and there are fewer foreign exhibitors (or even American galleries) willing to show at major antique fairs in New York.

Already, US authorities’ aggressive seizures of artworks from long-held collections and the unprecedented number of prosecutions based upon foreign laws that nationalize virtually all antique artworks have made art dealers, collectors, and museums hyper-cautious. These enforcement actions threaten to end the once-dominant New York market in global antique and tribal art....Objects that can be proven to have been collected before 1970 are categorized as “good” for marketing, collecting and museum acquisition purposes. Objects without proof of collection date or collected post-1970 are “bad.”"
Quoted from this article, please read: Click here.

Trump Administration Proposed Tariffs on Chinese Art & Proposed Extension of Existing MOU.

The importing of Chinese art from China has been regulated since 2009 by a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that is set to be renewed soon, through 2024. It is my opinion, and that of many other experts and commercial & non-profit institutions in the U.S., that this ban is not appropriate. The ban covers virtually all items through the Tang Dynasty and wall decoration and monumental sculpture more than 250 years old.
See the discussion on why this MOU should not be renewed posted by Cultural Property News here.

In addition, "ordinarily, there are no customs duties on art or antiques. It is considered in the public interest to bring art and literature to the U.S., so in the past, no duties were imposed on foreign art or books. The Trump administration is changing that, at least for art and antiques from China. This is one of the more bizarre stories in the tariff saga, since a tariff on antiques will please the Chinese government and reinforce its global dominance and monopoly on Chinese art. Artworks, antiques, and historical and archaeological collections are included in the Trump administration’s proposed 10% retaliatory tariff on an additional $200 billion of China is clear that the proposed tariff on Chinese art only punishes U.S. collectors, dealers, and art museums – not the Chinese, who requested import restrictions on art and antiques up to 1912 in the first place!" (quoted from Cultural Property News July 19, 2018).
The article includes a link on how individuals can comment on these proposed tariffs, which must be received by August 17, 2018.

Jul 5, 2018

What Can I Do with My Ivory?

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services has a good, clear information page about their regulations regarding trade of ivory and other endangered species materials. Please follow this link.

Apr 24, 2018

Chinese Art Thefts from Museum of East Asian Art, Bath UK

Six years ago there was an attempted robbery at this museum during open hours, and on April 17, 2018, in the middle of the night, the thieves were successful. Authorities suspect they hand-picked what they stole for some client.

Read the NY Times story on this here 

Read the Art Newspaper story on this here




The New York Times recently reported on a new ivory ban in the UK that will hit art and antiquities sellers hard. Although there will be some exceptions, it will significantly hurt the trade in antiquities that contain ivory.

The article also mentions "a complaint filed on April 5 to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York [by] the Art and Antique Dealers League of America and the National Art and Antiques Dealers Association of America [who] are contesting the New York state law passed in 2014 banning the sale of antique ivory. The plaintiffs contest that this state legislation conflicts with exemptions for antiques included in prevailing federal ban on the ivory trade."

See the article here