The Dim-Post

June 30, 2016

F for Fake

Filed under: Uncategorized — danylmc @ 10:29 am

Via the Herald:

Te Papa has pulled the plug on the purchase of the singlet worn by Peter Snell in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.

They have questioned its authenticity saying it is not the singlet that the Olympian wore when he won his gold medals.

Cordy’s auction house confirmed today that it would not be proceeding with the sale of a singlet which was sold for $122,500 at auction last week.

Te Papa said as it was unable to satisfy itself of the singlet’s authenticity and it has been agreed by the parties not to proceed with the sale.

They could still buy it, surely, and display it as a replica of the famous singlet? Although they’d have to be careful if they acquired the real black singlet not to mix it up with the fake black singlet, or even – heaven forbid – hundreds of of imitation black singlets I presume they planned to sell as merchandise. Although, if that did happen it would make a fascinating statement about authenticity and art and consumerism, and the fake singlets would become valuable installations in the national collection’s art gallery. Although the possible presence of the real singlet – which is historical, but ultimately only a singlet, not a work of art like the other singlets – would devalue it somewhat.

16 Comments »

  1. “Te Papa will ask an independent expert to review the process that led to the auction bid, to understand what could have been done differently.”

    Independent expert’s fee: $122,000.

    Although I’d accept $100 just to tell them “what could have been differently”.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — June 30, 2016 @ 10:44 am

  2. Sorry, “done” disappeared, an independent expert has just pointed out.

    Comment by sammy 3.0 — June 30, 2016 @ 10:45 am

  3. …hundreds of of imitation black singlets I presume they planned to sell as merchandise.

    I haven’t been into Te Papa in a while but, looking through their online store, it’s pretty clear this isn’t the sort of merchandising they do.

    Comment by Phil — June 30, 2016 @ 11:05 am

  4. Goes to show that Te Papa CEO Rick Ellis is cut from the same rent-a-CEO cloth as Mark Weldon.

    Comment by Kumara Republic (@kumararepublic) — June 30, 2016 @ 11:54 am

  5. It’s always befuddling to me that merchandising as a concept didn’t burn itself out long ago.

    Also here’s a thing to think about: art as a store of value. When the rich are getting too rich for there own good the price of known quantities of art becomes stratospheric.

    Comment by James Green — June 30, 2016 @ 12:00 pm

  6. Can’t we find a middle ground here? Te Papa press could publish a lavishly illustrated, 500 page book on famous NZ black singlets. Everybody wins.

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 30, 2016 @ 12:07 pm

  7. It’s always befuddling to me that merchandising as a concept didn’t burn itself out long ago.
    That’s definitely only befuddling to you. The rest of us are pretty good at understanding things.

    …art as a store of value. When the rich are getting too rich for there [sic] own good the price of known quantities of art becomes stratospheric.
    Citation needed?
    There’s some evidence Art makes a good defensive investment. It has a comparatively low and surprisingly (to me at least) stable rate of return over the long-term. Like investing in wine, there is a natural decay in the numerical quantity of “old” pieces to buy, and the law of supply and demand is still a thing that works.

    Comment by Phil — June 30, 2016 @ 12:23 pm

  8. @Andrew I’m with you. It’s an outright cultural crime that John Clake’s singlet isn’t on display for us all to admire.

    Comment by Robert Singers — June 30, 2016 @ 12:36 pm

  9. I gee see an unseemly tussle over John Clarkes coffin when he passes on, wearing his black singlet of course. Will his relatives wishes for the family plot be overruled for an ‘installation’ at Te Papa ?

    Comment by duker — June 30, 2016 @ 12:43 pm

  10. The numbers indicating art makes anything like a good investment are always warped by the fact that art is only priced when it’s sold. That is, if you get someone from Dunbar’s over to evaluate a piece and they tell you it’ll probably go for half of what you bought it for, you don’t put it up for auction (or it doesn’t make reserve, gets flagged as ‘unsold’ and is made invisible in the numbers anyway) and so it’s never recorded as losing value. Art looks like it sells for more than it’s bought because people only sell the art that’ll go for more than they bought it for. Studies that have tried to take this into account indicate that art, as a whole, makes a terrible investment, as have the various attempts at basing investment funds on it.

    Comment by JG — June 30, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

  11. Turnbull Library bought a fake painting recently. At least Te Papa didn’t go through with the deal.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/73243640/turnbull-librarys-75000-fake-lindauer-last-sold-for-4600-in-hawkes-bay

    Comment by Ross — June 30, 2016 @ 6:40 pm

  12. Inside sources tell me the bosses at Te Papa want a coffee kiosk in every gallery …

    Comment by rodaigh — July 1, 2016 @ 9:58 am

  13. Like religious relics, and the proliferation of splinters of the True Cross.

    Comment by herr doktor bimler — July 1, 2016 @ 10:29 pm

  14. Why am I reminded of Duchamp’s “Fountain”?

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 2, 2016 @ 4:35 pm

  15. Because I’ve seen it… but just not the original.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — July 2, 2016 @ 4:36 pm

  16. Why am I reminded of Duchamp’s “Fountain”?

    Fake urinals are commonly identified by a form of dowsing known to art conservators as pointing percy at the pretender. Perhaps Te Papa’s experts “flushed out” the phoney singlet with a similar method.

    Comment by Joe W — July 2, 2016 @ 5:32 pm


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