Establishing a Papertrail for Your Art Collection: What You Need to Know


Importance of Background Information

As you are developing an art collection, it is important to have background information on each piece of artwork you acquire. Having this information will aid in cataloguing your art collection as well as selling or borrowing against it.

The information you should have on record is:

  • Artist’s name
  • Title of the piece and year it was created
  • Dimensions and medium of the piece
  • Details of the markings or signatures on the piece
  • The object’s condition and provenance
  • Auction and exhibition history for the object

Locating Pertinent Data

Some of the details are straightforward but you may not be sure where to find others. The first place to look is the receipt, especially one from a gallery. It will list the basics of the artwork e.g., artist name, title and year of the artwork) but also the provenance and it serves as proof of ownership. The receipt should always be kept when purchasing artwork.


Source: Christie’s

The back of a painting is incredibly important as it has various pieces of information that can provide provenance and auction history. A past appraisal or a condition report prepared by a reputable conservator are also helpful as they would hold information on the medium, material, markings and signature.

Determining the Medium

Identifying the medium of the artwork can also be tricky. Here are some tips:

  • If the painting has an edition number, it is most likely a print and not a canvas.
  • Oil paintings and water colours have distinct appearances making them simpler to identify
  • Having high resolution photos of the pieces in your art collection are imperative as they can assist a valuation specialist with determining the factors you may be having difficulty with.

Historical Significance                      

Knowing the exhibition and publication history of an artwork is also significant. The fact that an artwork has been critically assessed helps a potential seller or lender gain a level of comfort with it. Exhibitions and publications also provide provenance. If an artwork has appeared in a publication, it means it was written about by someone knowledgeable about the art and well-known in the industry. It invariably provides validation for the artwork. Artworks that have been featured in exhibitions and publications are also viewed favourably in the marketplace and may enhance the demand.

Most sellers and lenders will want to know the auction history of an artwork so this another set of information that is important to have. The auction history is also used to add credibility to the artwork. Previous and recent offerings for sale can have an impact upon the value that is offered for the artwork.

 Proving Ownership

Lastly, and perhaps most obviously, you must be able to prove ownership of the artwork. You will not be able to sell or borrow against your piece without proof that you have sole ownership of it. This would again be demonstrated by a formal receipt or notarized document that confirms your ownership.

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Top 10 Most Expensive Baseball Memorabilia Ever Sold

  1. Hank Aaron’s 755th Home Run Ball: $650,000

Hank Aaron still holds several world records, such as the most All-Star Game Selections at 75 and the most seasons as an All-Star at 21. This ball was used for his last home run, number 755th, in 1976. 20 years later, the ball was sold for a sum of $650,000.

Hank Aaron’s 755th Home Run Ball: $650,000

  1. Babe Ruth’s 1933 Jersey: $657,250

Babe Ruth is quite possibly one of the greatest baseball players of all time, and by the time you’ve reached the end of this list you’ll be more than convinced. 1933 is said to be Ruth’s most iconic year, hitting 34 home runs. That’s why his 1933 Jersey sold at auction for $657,250.

Babe Ruth’s 1933 Jersey: $657,250

  1. Babe Ruth’s 1934 World Tour Uniform: $771,000

Usually when collectors are looking to purchase an item of athlete’s clothing, they like to go for something that is a little more well-worn and tied to a significant event. But in this case this uniform hadn’t been worn that often, which fortunately meant that its condition was quite mint. Not only did this mean that it was still of decent value, but that it actually went for a higher value than a number of other items of Ruth’s uniforms. In 2005 it was sold by Mastro Auctions for $771,000.

Babe Ruth’s 1934 World Tour Uniform: $771,000

  1. Babe Ruth Signed 1933 All-Star Game Home Run Ball: $805,000

July 6th 1933 – Ruth takes his stand in front of an eagerly waiting crowd of 49,200 at Comiskey Park. Then he hits two home runs, and this was the ball behind the win. At this point Ruth had earned a celebrity status and so the ball was instantly a valuable collectible.

Babe Ruth Signed 1933 All-Star Game Home Run Ball: $805,00

  1. Babe Ruth’s 1932 Jersey: $940,000

 What makes this Jersey more iconic than others? Well, in the 1932 World Series against the Chicago Cubs, the scores were tied at 4-4. Ruth pointed to a sport in the bleachers and then when he hit the ball it went to the exact spot he had been pointing at, earning him his 15th home run that year.

Babe Ruth’s 1932 Jersey: $940,000

  1. Babe Ruth’s 1919 Yankees’ Contract: $996,000

We’re starting to see a lot of Babe Ruth on this list, and this is probably one of the most important transfer documents of all times. When the Yankees traded with the Red Sox for Ruth in 1919 for $100,000, it was a turning point in not only Ruth’s career, but in the history of baseball. The following year, Ruth hit 54 home runs in his first season with the Yankees.

Babe Ruth’s 1919 Yankees’ Contract: $996,000

  1. Babe Ruth’s 1923 First Yankee Stadium Home Run Bat: $1.3 million

 If you were to look this bat up in the Guinness Book of World Records, you’d find it under “The Most Expensive Bat of all Time.” It was used at the original Yankee Stadium for the first ever game there. And to top it all off, the bat hit a home run in said game. Therefore, the bat was sold in New York by Sotheby’s for a lovely $1.3 million.

Babe Ruth’s 1923 First Yankee Stadium Home Run Bat: $1.3 million

  1. Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card: $2.8 million

 Wagner, also known as ‘The Flying Dutchman’, had a baseball career for 21 years, and is still regarded as one of the greatest baseball players in history. He was also the first of five members to make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame. But the card isn’t just valuable due to the man behind it, it’s also very rare. Wagner refused to allow the American Tobacco Company to feature him, in an attempt to stop children buying cigarettes. This crisp-condition 107 year-old baseball card thus sold for $2.8 million in 2007.

Honus Wagner 1909 Baseball Card: $2.8 million

  1. Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run Ball: $3 million

Mark McGwire is famous for his record-breaking abilities. He set the record for the most single-season home runs in history at that time at a whopping 70! He also set the record for the highest bats per home run ratio in history – a home run once per 10.61 bats.

Mark McGwire’s 70th Home Run Ball: $3 million

  1. Babe Ruth 1920 Jersey: $4.4 million

Babe Ruth’s jersey took to auction in 2012, fetching a hefty $1.4 Million. Why? Well, this jersey is considered the most desirable baseball artifact in history, and has even had a home at the Babe Ruth Birthplace Museum for some time. Ruth wore many jerseys throughout his baseball career, but the reason for this one being so special is that it is the oldest known New York Yankees jersey that Ruth had worn. He first wore the jersey in 1920, and now nearly a century later, both Ruth and the jersey’s legacy lives on.

Babe Ruth 1920 Jersey: $4.4 million

Image Source:


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$32.5M in Sales at Barrett-Jackson 2016

Auctions don’t get much glitzier than the Barrett-Jackson sale at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas. This year was the 9th annual sale and in contrast to Europe’s slightly up and down results, Barrett Jackson saw a 99.2% sell-through rate which totalled more than $32.5 million.

“This Las Vegas auction proved that Barrett-Jackson continues to set the bar for sales, attendance and broadcast coverage among collector car auctions,” said Craig Jackson, chairman and CEO of Barrett-Jackson. “We experienced extraordinary television coverage with 24 hours being broadcast in the U.S. on Discovery and Velocity, as well 24 hours in Canada and 20 hours in the United Kingdom. We’re proud to fuel the collector car hobby by bringing our live auctions into the living rooms of fans around the world.”

The top five vehicles sold during the 2016 Las Vegas auction include:

1969 Ford Mustang Boss 429 – $357,500 (Lot #749)


1967 Ford Shelby GT500SE Super Snake – $275,500 (Lot #741)1967-ford-shelby-gt500se-super-snake

2008 Dodge Viper SRT/10 Hurst 50th Anniversary – $220,000 (Lot #398)

2009 Mosler MT900 GTR Twin-Turbo Custom Prototype “IAD Land Shark” – $220,000 (Lot #744)

2012 Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost Sedan “Pawn Stars” – $181,500 (Lot #730)

1962-jaguar-xke-roadsterThe Tammy Allen Collection was a featured attraction during the auction. The Collection included some highly-prized vehicles, including the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT/10 Hurst 50th Anniversary that sold for $220,000, a 1962 Jaguar XKE Roadster selling for $165,000, as well as a 1953 Buick Skylark Convertible and the “Wasabi” 1950 Mercury Coupe, both of which sold for $159,500.

1960-chevrolet-corvette-283-270-convertibleOne particular lot that caught our eye was a beautiful 1960 Chevrolet Corvette 283/270 Convertible. A timeless classic that would look at home on Sunset Boulevard, London’s Kings Road and Monte-Carlo. At a sale price of just $51,700 is there another car out there at this price with such an iconic look?2016 has been a bumper year for Barrett Jackson and now we look ahead to the next Scottsdale auction in January where records will no doubt tumble again. 

“This year was our 45th Anniversary and we’ve had a lot to celebrate,” said Jackson. “In Scottsdale we set new records at every turn, including the sale of 2017 Acura NSX VIN #001, which sold for $1.2 million for charity. In Palm Beach, we welcomed Hollywood megastar William Shatner on stage to help sell two cars from his collection. At our inaugural Northeast Auction in Connecticut, tickets sold out within hours after gates opened and the vehicle docket closed well in advance due to strong demand. It was the first double sell-out in our company’s 45-year history. It’s only fitting that we top off our 45th Anniversary in Las Vegas with exceptional international TV coverage and sales, making it a truly banner year for our company, as well as our bidders, consignors, sponsors and fans.”

© 2016 Barrett-Jackson Auction Company, LLC.

About the Author

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, gasoline is very much in his veins.

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The Value of Gold Investment


Importance of Gold in Ancient Civilizations

Since the beginning of recorded history civilization has regarded gold to be a symbol of status and wealth. It has been used as an enduring symbol to express some of the most important rituals and stories of a culture. In Ancient Egypt, for example, it was used to decorate the tombs of pharaohs as well as to make currency. Gold and electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) were also worn by the Egyptian people in jewellery. Through the years and as civilization has developed it has taken on different roles, but for as long as it has been mined, gold has always held a prominent place in society.


Current Mining Capacity

 Throughout all of human history it is estimated that 180,000 tons of gold have been mined. Though this might sound like a lot, it is a relatively small amount when you consider that all of that gold would fit into a cube of a little over 20 meters. Currently, the worldwide mining capacity is at around 2,500 tons of gold every year. Of this amount, a staggering 2,000 tons is used for jewellery with a small amount of this being used in dentistry. That leaves only around 500 tons of gold per annum earmarked for bullion and investment.

Gold as a Safe-Haven

In modern times gold has been used in the form of coins to build confidence in the currency. When the gold standard was abandoned in the early 1970s, it became a powerful investment vehicle.


Today, many people invest in gold as a safe-haven asset – a hedge against inflation. As the cost of living rises, so does the price of gold. Further to this, other variables that gold reacts to include interest rates, inflation, The U.S. Dollar and other currencies, political news, other commodities, and so on. For the amateur investor, here are a few points to pay attention to when considering gold:

  • Gold does not gain interest, so if interest rates are lower than the rate of inflation the price of gold will naturally rise, and vice versa.
  • Gold is dollar-denominated, so if the price of gold rises against the dollar it becomes more expensive to buyers around the world, which may curb demand for the commodity.
  • Gold is an asset that you can physically hold as an investment. Sure, there are gold stocks and mining companies that you can invest in, but you can also hold the real thing if you wish. It is also a very liquid asset.


Investment in Other Precious Metals

In addition to gold, there might be an appeal to invest in other precious metals – mainly silver, platinum, and palladium. Unlike gold, these alternative metals are often used for industrial purposes and, therefore, have a stronger positive correlation to the economy. They also have a very different relationship with the markets than gold does. Take platinum for example – it is a much rarer metal than gold and is much more expensive to mine, so it generally trades at a higher price than gold. Today, however, gold is at approximately 30% higher than platinum – $1,250 per ounce compared to $950 per ounce. For the casual investor who is considering dabbling in alternative precious metals, it is important to research the economic relationships because trading platinum, silver, and palladium – as these metals certainly have greater risk attached to them than that of gold trading.


Source: Lenntech

With all investments there is certainly risk involved, but having some gold in your portfolio is a great way to add diversification to your investment book, whether in physical bullion or mining stocks. Unlike coins, paper currency or other assets, gold has maintained its value over time and has acted as a security in times of economic volatility. For this reason, many people see the commodity as a way to preserve wealth that can be passed on to the next generation.

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Brexit Brings Fleeting Opportunity for Watch Enthusiasts

Britain, particularly London, is not known for its bargains. But, thanks to the unexpected result of the EU Referendum, that’s all changed. Britain has rolled the dice and the luxury watch market has been dealt a fortunate hand…but for how long can this lucky streak continue?


Image courtesy of Azimuth

Before Brexit hit the country like a hurricane, industry experts predicted a price hike due to the anticipated collapse of the pound. Even Rolex, who hadn’t altered their prices since 2012, were rumored to have an increase in the works. But since the country voted to leave the EU, some brands have been slow to act.

Any brand that resisted the urge to raise prices and decided instead to ride out the dip in Sterling, are seriously good value right now (especially if you’re a tourist able to buy without tax!). But even the brands that have raised their prices are set to get cheaper (again) as the currency is predicted to collapse further as the Good Ship Britannia sails for stormy seas.

But how long can this fortuitous situation for the travelling consumer continue? What’s going to happen long term when the dust settles?

Out in the Cold or Blazing a Trail?

Britain has always been held in high esteem by fashionistas. London is many a designer’s spiritual home, and the diversity of the city has given birth to some of the greatest cultural phenomena in history.


Image courtesy of Christophe Claret

But the ‘coolness’ of Britain is under threat thanks to 52% of the population proclaiming they’d rather go it alone. Britain used to be cool because it was the plucky member of the gang, but it seems they might have gone one step too far by shunning the bonds history forged for a reason.

There are many uncertainties around the future of the relationship between Britain and the EU. There could be major changes, but the likelihood is a perpetuation of the status quo under a new banner that champions diversity instead of unity.

Whichever way the country goes, the truth of the matter is this: Brexit has created a startling window of opportunity for overseas watch collectors to add to their stash, but how long that window remains open is anyone’s guess.


Fell Jensen is a Swiss-trained watchmaker working as an industry analyst.

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H&H October Auction – A Return to Normal?

In the excitement of the big name auctions it’s easy to forget the smaller auction companies. This is often where you will find the more interesting lots and possibly a bargain. We preview the October H&H auction at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford.


2004 Bentley Continental GT

Modern Bentley ownership with a reserve of just $25,000–$27,000, sound tempting? The world stood still when the new Continental GT was revealed at the Geneva Motor Show in 2003. Muscular, elegant and obviously a Bentley the W12, twin-turbocharged car was also incredibly powerful. 552bhp, 0-60 in 4.8 seconds and a top speed just a sniff under 200mph.

Take one for a drive and you can’t help but fall for its charms of slow speed cruising comfort and elegance mixed with supercar power on tap. While this car is on a rather impressive 83,500 miles it has a solid history to back it up and that’s what is most important with a car like this. These are expensive cars to run and the history should be full and gap free to give you peace of mind that the previous owner looked after it properly.


Mercedes-Benz 190 E 2.6-16 Evolution II

Conceived to challenge the BMW E30 M3 in the world-famous German Touring Car Championship (DTM) the Evo II was Mercedes’ wild answer and in 1992 they took the first three places in the championship. Just 502 examples were built, making it rarer than the mighty BMW E30 M3 Sport Evolution. This particular car has covered around 45,000 miles which whilst more than a collector would like does mean the car can be used and at a tempting estimate of $75,000-$87,000, this could be a very shrewd and enjoyable investment.


Porsche 911 GT2 Club Sport

One of just 16 UK supplied RHD cars and still with its original invoice of $163,783, this is a very intriguing prospect. A one owner car purchased new from Park Lane in London by a racing driving with whom it has resided ever since. Known to many as the ‘widow maker’ the GT2 is not for the faint hearted and today will still give most modern supercars a run for their money. Many didn’t survive ownership and were crashed so finding an original straight car with no previous damage is important when buying a GT2. $118,000-$143,000 is an estimate that will attract a lot of interest.


Alfa Romeo GT1600 Junior

A useable Alfa Romeo with a few choice upgrades for $17,000-$22,000. There are two options here. Buy the car, enjoy it, keep it running and perhaps sell it next summer for a small profit. Or, you could buy it and turn it into the iconic GTA, recreation cars are often built from these models and a well-built recreation will sell for $100,000-$125,000. The trouble is, once you have done that you might not want to sell it!

H&H’s October auction is on the 12th. After the madness of RM Sotheby’s London sale, we’ll be watching this sale closely to see how the market sits.


Photo credit: © H&H Classics Limited

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, gasoline is very much in his veins.

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The Top 5 Most Expensive Lamborghinis

Ah, the Lamborghini – the car that embodies timeless success and innovative design, set out to thrill not just the driver, but all those who lay eyes on it. Each model is said to typify its own unique personality, yet none stray from the neat and muscular proportions of the Lamborghini body concept. The classic Herculean build of these super sports cars is an accurate representation of just how athletic their engines really are. The pairing of a sleek exterior and a mighty interior make for a perfect explanation as to why Lamborghini’s go for several million pounds. Let’s take a look at the top 5 most valuable models.

5. Aventador J: $2.8m
Would you believe me if I told you that this car took only 6 weeks to create? Well that’s what happened when CEO Stephan Winkelmann wanted to showcase “something special” at the upcoming Geneva show in 2012. Before it even took to the stage, it was purchased by one very wealthy customer who fell in love with the striking-red two-seater convertible. It may appear to be one of Lamborghinis’ more gentle designs, but don’t be fooled, it’s still got a 6.5-litre 700bhp V12 engine, setting its value at $2.8m.

Image Source: Top Gear

Image Source: Top Gear

4. Sesto Elemento Concept $2.9m

In fourth place is the Sesto Elemento, or rather “Sixth Element” in English. This refers to the atomic number of Carbon, reflecting Lamborghinis creative use of Carbon Fibre. With a striking name comes a striking body. All black, with red focal points and interior may appear a simple design, but this allows us to appreciate all of those sleek edges and refined corners. Fancy design is not necessary when the car speaks for itself – literally. You can hear the roar of the 5.2L engine from a fair distance and is guaranteed to turn a few heads. Which of course you should expect when this Seso Elemento sets you back $2.9m.

Image source: Nice Cars Info

Image source: Nice Cars Info

3. Egoista Concept $3m

It could be said that this is a rather odd model by Lamborghini – it has only one seat and you have to remove the steering wheel to actually get in. This may be why the Egoista remained a concept car. Yet, this is all the more space for muscle right? 600 HP of muscle to be exact. This, combined with the low curb weight and aggressive body places the Egoistas’ worth at a smug $3m.

Image Source: The Cool List

Image Source: The Cool List

2. Veneno $5.3m

Veneno – Spanish for venom. 6.5L of venom in this case. Much like the Roadster, the Veneno has unique aerodynamics with a strong focus on a lightweight physique. Even the bucket seats are made from Lamborghini’s patented Forged Composite. But don’t let the word ‘light’ mistake you for the heaviness of its force: 0-60pmh in a cute 2.8 seconds. This luxurious supercar is only available for 3 customers to own, and 3 very fortunate customers they are.

Image Source: Top Gear

Image Source: Top Gear

1. Lamborghini Veneno Roadster $5.6m

A 50th anniversary is a big one, a Golden Jubilee, and calls for a rather sizeable celebration. Lamborghini made no exception. In 2014, the Lamborghini Veneno Roadster hit the scene in order to commemorate the semi centennial event. An impressive car release calls for an impressive location – so the Veneno went to Abu Dhabi to take to a scene it was worthy of. All 9 of the Roadsters are convertible and have 6.5-litre engines and 750 horsepower. This car embodies innovation with the use of carbon fibre, which is used in the seats, dash board and even the wheels. Why? Well, the future of supercars lies in reducing weight and advancing aerodynamics, rather than increasing the power of the engine. The forward-thinking and revolutionary design of the Veneno means that its value is placed at a rather large $5.6m.

Image Source: The Richest

Image Source: The Richest

Just by looking at these 5 extremely handsome supercars, we can see that Lamborghini truly knows what it’s doing when it comes to luxury. Design and speed are always held on the highest podiums, with neither falling short of the other. We can only wonder what the company has in store for us next.

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Porsche 911 R Featured at Bonhams Zoute Auction


When Porsche announced the 911 R buyers went crazy, desperate to get on the order list with just 991 cars being built. In these modern times where the automobile is so collectable sadly a mixture of pure investors and speculators also got in on the fun meaning that many genuine car enthusiasts and collectors missed out.


So why is it so special? The 911 R represented a return to a purer driving experience from Porsche. The current 911 GT3 runs a PDK automatic transmission and the 911 R is a manual, it also has a narrower body and is lighter in weight when compared to the GT3, 110lbs lighter to be precise. This is thanks to the manual transmission being lighter than the excellent PDK system, less sound insulation, carbon fiber front wings and a titanium exhaust.

porsche-911-rThese changes inspired fans all around the world desperate for the classic 911 feel in a modern package, the 911 R did not disappoint.

Book price if you were one of the lucky few was €200,000. In truth the cars were sold before the 911 R was even revealed at the Geneva motor show back in March. With first deliveries now falling into customers hands they are starting to pop up on the market for between €500,000-€600,000 a healthy profit I am sure you will agree. It could be argued that the car was a little too cheap in the first place and Porsche could have easily sold the cars for €300,000.


This October the first car to appear at auction is coming up at the popular Bonhams Zoute sale in Belgium. It will be interesting to see how the car is received at an auction typically associated with fine classic cars, although there is no doubt the 911 R is already a classic. The Swedish car was delivered to its owner in July, numbered 135 and has just 32 miles on the odometer. How you could resist driving such a car is beyond the team at Borro!

Bonhams motoring representative in Belgium, Gregory Tuytens said, “The Porsche 911 R is a car for real purists and fully justifies the title of the most sought-after modern Porsche today. We believe our very fair estimate will attract a great deal of attention from enthusiasts keen to acquire one of the rarest Porsche around.”


That estimate is €250,000-€350,000, it’s certainly very keen and will attract interest, but don’t be surprised if the hammer price drops closer to a cool €1m!

© Bonhams 2016

Tim Hutton has been involved in the automotive industry for 17 years, creating ideas and content for premium brands. When not writing about cars, you will find him driving them all around the world. Having learned to drive at seven in a racing car, gasoline is very much in his veins.

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