December 4, 2022 update:
A new twist to this odd auction house offer. As of today, December 4, 2022, this painting is being offered in a live auction on bidsquare, by NY Elizabeth. The auction is scheduled to begin in 5 hours. Low and behold, a couple of days ago, a friend alerted me to an ebay listing of this same painting, offered by Surry Fine Arts, for a buy it now price of GB 5400 ($6596.64 US). Now, this seems rather suspicious to this old antiquer. https://www.ebay.com/itm/363888626887
I was doing an online preview of an auction to be held by NY Elizabeth of a collection of English paintings when I saw a cool folk art painting “THE NEWBUS OX”. It is a cool painting and even though I hesitate to buy overseas because the shipping charge is generally astronomical, this painting really got my attention. The description is:
Year: 18th Century
Size: 27″ x 18″
Description: Fine 18th Century English scene of a farmer and an Ox titled “The Newbus Ox”, oil on canvas. Excellent quality and condition study of the farmer beside the Ox with its elgonated features, set on the farmyard. Professionally relined and presented in a maple wood frame. Typical of the works of Thomas Weaver during the period. Measurements: 27″ x 18″ framed approx. Literature: The work was used by William Ward in 1812 as an engraving and this was taken from almost identical composition by Weaver which is now considered lost/destroyed.
Provenance: Provenance: Wysdom Hall, UK
I sent an inquiry to NY Elizabeth as follows: May I see blacklight photo(s)? Thanks!
The response, from “Alex”: We do inspect all paintings under UV light but we don’t take pics with backlight [sic].”
I thought that was an odd response considering the high estimate ($4500-$6750) and because in my 40 years in the business, I’ve never received such a response. So my response was: “Really, it seems like a mistake to expect people to pay high dollars for a painting that has clearly been restored but you won’t show the restoration to them. Are you sure that is your final decision?”
Alex was very quick to respond:
NY ELizabeth roots dates back to 1956, we have clients from 18 countries with 15000+ active bidders. !20+ auctions with $1b + in bids. Why would we hide any issues with any artwork?
You said you want us to take a pic with UV light and I said we inspect but don’t take it, you didn’t ask for condition report. I don’t believe our auction house would be a right fit to work together as your response is not a fit to our organization. We know you meant good and wish you the best of luck.
This is the first time I’ve been fired by an auction house! LOL! In my eyes, the description saying it has been “Professionally restored and presented in a maple wood frame” was enough of a condition report that I wanted to see how much inpainting was done with the professional restoration. That doesn’t seem like an unusual request but it NY Elizabeth doesn’t want my business, they certainly won’t have it. I’m always surprised how unprofessional some businesses can be. I have now searched for reviews on the auction house, and I agree that we are not a good fit.
The moral of this story for you, my dear readers, is research the company before you spend your hard-earned money with them and don’t let them bully you. If they won’t show you the issues, walk away.