The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, September 22, 2019

Check your attic, cellar & garden shed for hidden treasures
Perhaps the most unusual recent discovery was a pair of Muhammad Ali’s trousers.

LONDON.- When last did you think about looking through the years of collected ‘junk’ in your attic? The auction world lives off such discoveries say Barnebys, the world’s leading art and auction search engine.

Many people who do go in search of such treasure are stumped when faced with a work of art, antique or collector’s item they want valued, not knowing where to begin. Barnebys offer a free service.

A remarkable and electrifying discovery was Kurt Cobain’s black and white Mexican Fender Stratocaster guitar played and smashed by Cobain. It was used during the American leg of the In Utero Tour in late 1993. It was given personally by Cobain to an audience member at the end of the 16th Feb 1994 show at Palais Omnisport, Rennes, France. It is fully playable after restoration by a guitar technician. Normally valued at a few hundred pounds the Cobain connection added thousands to its value at around £30,000.

Perhaps the most unusual recent discovery was a pair of Muhammad Ali’s trousers. The client asking for a valuation wrote: ”In May 1993, Ali came to Iran to negotiate a prisoner exchange of combatants held since the Iran-Iraq War. My father in that time visited him and gave him an antique ring. In exchange Muhammad Ali gave his trousers to him.” The pale beige casual docker-type shorts in light cotton was valued at £200 to £300 by Barnebys.

Michael Schumacher crashed his Ferrari into a wall of tyres due to brake failure on the first lap of the 1999 Silverstone Grand Prix. The request to value the Ferrari’s nosecone said: “This is the nose cone from that incident, untouched from its return to the factory after the race. It still bears all the marks from hitting the tire wall. Although Michael suffered a broken leg that left him out until the Malaysian GP at the end of the season the impact performance of the nose probably saved him from far more serious injury.” This red nose cone was valued at £300 to £500 by Barnebys.

Pontus Silfverstolpe, co-founder of Barnebys, says: “Whatever the object, no matter how bizarre unusual or simple we will help in just the same way as we will help with vastly expensive items. It’s all part of the Barnebys philosophy and service. We are about providing informed educated objective advice for free.”

There is virtually nothing in the collecting spectrum that Barnebys valuation service cannot assist with. It covers everything, including the weird and wonderful.

The advantage of starting with Barnebys is that this massive global art and auction search engine covers 1,600 auction houses round the world from Sotheby’s and Christie’s to major regional players. So by asking Barnebys for a valuation your object will be looked at by very informed people and then possibly passed on to a selection of the leaders in the field covering the type of object you need to have valued. And this service is free to users.

Given the huge number of art and collectable categories covered by Barnebys and their auction house clients there is always going to be someone on hand to offer informed advice. A further service on the Barnebys database that goes back to 1983, are the lists of prices achieved for all subjects covered. So a quick look at these lists will give a prospective seller some idea of what they might expect the experts to come back with in the way of a valuation.

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