Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Don't put your hand up!

Provenance is everything. I bought this at an auction. Admittedly for not very much money at all. It was catalogued as being 'reputedly by G. K. Chesterton'. Everyone else was sitting on their hands and I put mine up when the opening bid seemed very cheap and got it, and a number of other sketches, for the opening bid: everyone else was right. Of course they were. I've seen a couple of sketches by Chesterton and there's no reason to believe this can't be by him - and even if it were signed and legally attested it wouldn't be worth very much - but as it is, without signature, without provenance of any kind it is worth almost exactly nothing. A moral tale about why, if no one else is bidding, there's usually a good reason!


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