Re: Osaka Oban Orphans

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Posted by David on December 25, 2002 at 03:40:03:

In Reply to: Re: Osaka Oban Orphans posted by Guy Pepermans on December 21, 2002 at 23:04:07:

Dear Theo and Guy,

This is a point very similar to previous posts about the breaking up of books for profit. I am in complete agreement with you that disturbing original works of art, be it "orphaning" the sheets of a polyptych, breaking up a book, or even trimming damage off the sides to make a print look better are all bad practices that should be shunned by sellers, and avoided by buyers. Essentially, it is taking short term profit in the destruction of the long term value of the integrity of the work.

But now I will sound a familiar note (sorry!) of discord. When buyers are eager to pay $75 a sheet for obans, but unwilling to pay $150 for an oban triptych (and see $225 as outrageously expensive for an oban triptych, even though this is the same $75 a sheet!) this problem, right or wrong, will continue. The elimination of this problem, realistically, in term of market forces, starts at the bottom, not at the top. Strong morals can (and should) resist market forces, but, since few of us are heroes or saints, can only do so if backed up by some financial means that allows for them to exist.

It's ironic that a complete triptych, like a complete book, should be a bargain, worth LESS than the sum of its divided parts. This is the problem that I believe needs to be changed. In part this can be done by wise buyers shunning the dealers who divide up works into pieces (the boycott method) but can also, quite to the contrary, be done by wise buyers who stop "boycotting" $200 triptychs (3 $66 obans after all) as 'too expensive'!!

(This is my old, well-beaten point about the interconnectedness of buying and selling practices. Right or wrong, sellers will offer what buyers go for, be it the $10 book page, the $25 scan on nice paper or the $100 20th century Hiroshige reprint. Until buyers learn what to respect and what is valuable, I think we'll continue to see all these things, and broken triptychs too.)

: Theo,

: I support at 100% your point of view.

: It is normal that dealers or sellers use the internet to get bigger profits - I have no problem with that.

: On the other hand, they should know that buyers and amateurs of Japanese prints are spending also a lot of time on the net in search of good quality prints. So they too are pretty well informed about the market and the stocks of the different dealers operating on the net. In other words, they are not completely ignorant!

: So please stop this practice by dividing polytychs and in particular these wonderful Osaka polytychs for the sole purpose to sell them as seperate prints and to get bigger profits. I know that it is business as usual but I find it completely unethical and it raises a great mistrust on behalf of the true art lovers and buyers towards the whole market.

: Thank you.

: Guy.

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