Founded in the summer of 1999, has dealt with quality artworks for over a decade. It has been our goal to match superior artworks with competitive pricing for both the consignor and the independent buyer. We here at want to extend a heart-felt thank you to our clientele for their continuing support!

Archive for August, 2009

Not All Appraisers are Equal !!!

Sunday, August 30th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, General | No Comments

American Society of Appraisers designates members AM or ASA, who are tested to appraise a specific type of property:  (

  • Antiques & Decorative Arts
  • Fine Arts
  • Gems & Jewelry
  • Oriental Rugs
  • Books
  • Automobiles
  • Equines
  • Residential Contents
  • American Indian Arts
  • Machinery & Equipment
  • and more !

International Society of Appraisers (ISA) members earn their CAPPs (Certified Appraiser of Personal Property) designations in specific types of property.  (

Appraiser’s Association of America (AAA) has a website listing their members ( who appraise personal property.

If you are uncertain about the quality of someone’s work, ask to see a sample report. 

Credentialled or not, the appraisal’s narrative must convey clearly why the value is appropriate for the document’s intended use, as of the date of valuation.

“Trust me documents” don’t cut it any longer.

Corinne Cain, ASA  Personal Property/ Fine Arts as well as American Indian Arts

Corinne Cain of

Pop Quiz #3

Monday, August 24th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, General | No Comments

Name a material used in Zuni inlay that is black in color.

Hint:  Its name has 3 letters and is another word for a fast airplane.

Answer:    jet

Hard, black and shiny, jet is a form of fossil lignite used like obsidian and onyx. Fine details can be carved into it. Jet was most popularly used during the 19th century and early 20th century.

Paquin Zuni inlay watchband

Paquin Zuni inlay watchband

To locate all jewelry items on using jet, type “jet” into the empty search box beside the word “Search!” on each page.

Corinne Cain of

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Santa Fe Ole’

Sunday, August 16th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, Exhibition news, General | No Comments

Target Kateri Weiss (’s jewelry and beadwork associate) at the Hotel Plaza Real, Room #120, 125 Washington Avenue in Santa Fe on August 20 (10 am) – August 23 (evening).

Kateri will present some wonderful estate jewelry items just received recently. Many have not been featured on yet. If you want to have first crack at spectactular Leekya material.

Have a spectacular time in Santa Fe!  Don’t forget to allocate an hour or so to investigate the Wheelwright Museum‘s exhibit of Charlotte Mittler’s collection of superior American Indian paintings!  Purchase the catalogue for this show there in their gift store before it sells out.

Sorry to sound so pushy, but I think you will realize the importance of this exhibition, once you experience it firsthand.

Corinne Cain of

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UV Hand-Held Lamps

Friday, August 14th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, General | No Comments

Distributors of Ultraviolet Products in the U.S.A. are:

VWR Scientific located in West Chester, PA    1 800 932-5000

Fisher Scientific located in Pittsburgh, PA   1 800 766-7000

To read more about the product line from the manufacturer’s site, go to

Remember for these lamps to be effective, you must position yourself and the artwork in a totally dark environment. Avoid an enclosure with noticeable light leakage, as it will interfere with the effectiveness of the lamp.  Also, do not look directly into the light, as it can harm your vision.  Instead point the lamp at the artwork.

UV refers to ultraviolet. It is sometimes called black light because it appears quite dark even when lit.  Recently applied paint or graphite or ink, etc. absorbs ultraviolet light and therefore appears dark, allowing for the detection of newly added pigments (inpainting).

Corinne Cain of

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Pop Quiz #2

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009 | General | No Comments

What artistic medium sounds like something you might apply to a child’s face or to a person’s physique for decoration?

Hint:  It is an opaque paint more popular in the 19th century and synonymous with gouache.

Click to the right of this sentence to see answer: body color

Visiting museums in Europe you are likely to find more than one label identifying the artwork’s medium as ink or chalk with body color.  This is rather annoying when you admit to yourself — What the heck is body color?

See an unfamiliar art term, visit !

Corinne Cain of

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Pop Quiz #1

Monday, August 10th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, General | No Comments

Name an artist’s medium that is the name of a serious sickness killing many dogs each year?

Hint:     It is a water soluble paint using egg yolk or glue sizing as a binder, popular centuries ago.

Highlight the text to the right of the colon on this line for the answer:  distemper presents a marvelous art glossary online, free to use !!!

Art appraisers everywhere use it, why not you ?

Corinne Cain of

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Fake American Indian Baskets?

Friday, August 7th, 2009 | Collector Savvy tips, General | No Comments

Often baskets from other countries are misidentified as being made by an American Indian.  This occurs on popular general auction sites due to uninformed sellers.  When the seller comments “I don’t know whether it is Pima or Apache, but the person I got this from said it was . . . “, avoid this seller unless you are the expert.  It takes all of two minutes to learn the difference between the work of these two tribes, so why purchase a basket from Pakistan or Botswana just because someone is too lazy to establish who made the basket?

And yes, there are sellers who really do know the difference, but are skirting responsibility by blaming “their friend”.

A bit of bad news about baskets is “inpainting“.  In recent years some conservators have been paid to “inpaint” the outer fibers of a basket.  The basket’s natural patina develops as the fibers age and are exposed to natural light.  A dealer can request that this color shift be made more uniform in appearance by the application of paint to the basket’s surface.

Remedy:  collectors of older American Indian baskets will need to purchase and use an ultra-violet light to gauge whether or not their baskets have been tweaked this way.  Pigment or materials that are newer than the original materials will appear dark purple when you and the basket are in a pitch dark room or closet.

Conservators are employed to clean baskets, to correct warpage in shape, to introduce stitches of new material where there are missing stitches.  I would prefer to know what kind of plastic surgery has been performed on the basket I am about to procure, rather than find out on my own with my trusty UV light after the fact.

Corinne Cain of

Moral to this story:  Get savvy and become a Savvy Collector !!!

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Tags: , , , Toolbar Time!

Sunday, August 2nd, 2009 | General | 1 Comment

The toolbar has undergone a complete transformation. It now has many dazzling new features, better stability, and more great components- yet is the same size!  Not only that, all the icons from past versions are still there, so there’s no need to have to figure out an all new interface.

So what are these “dazzling” new features?

In addition to the already incorporated Peruse the Gallery button, calculator, notepad, calendar viewer, currency calculator and Blog RSS Feed, we now have added two new tools: A Microsoft Office Launch button, and a CNN News Feed. 

The Microsoft Office Launch button, is a drop-down menu, allowing you to launch Word, Powerpoint, Excel or Outlook, right from your toolbar!

The CNN News Feed is also a menu, that updates every 100 minutes, giving you the latest news quickly and efficiently. The familiar gold asterick used when there is a new blog entry is used when there is a new CNN feed.

Screenshot of part of the new toolbar

On top of all that, there are some other new features. The original Twitter button, although still the same icon, is now a social media menu! Now with the click of a button, you can access the Savvy Collector Twitter, Facebook profile,  Flickr Channel, Gooogle Group, Youtube Channel, and more!

Some other changes include:
The search box now being purple (a very fitting color I would say!),  the Peruse the Gallery button now having a monthly featured artist link, and the arrow next to the logo now having a link to the Wishlist.

Now what are you waiting for? Get Savvy today and upgrade to the Toolbar!

We guarantee the toolbar is safe to have, and fun to use!

Already have the toolbar? Simply restart your browser (no download required), or click the arrow next to the logo, and click refresh toolbar.

Ben Gelbart of

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