Welcome to Cynthia Shaver Asian Art Appraiser Newsletter August 2021
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The month of July brought more than three jobs regarding South East Asian textiles. Funny how it happens like that. This suits my obsessive-compulsive tendencies, and for a matter of weeks totally immersed myself into a realm of quality elements of threads.
One, an insurance claim, involved about 50 Savu ikat shawls that were damaged due to the upstairs apartment water leak, over 4 months of time. I examined this property and was struck by the apparent quality of the damaged threads. All threads were cotton, hand dyed with indigo or madder, with between 4 to 10 twisted fibers per thread. With the help of another ‘thread head’, I was able to produce a credible document for a claim. Often I refer insurance appraisals to another appraiser, but this involved a large quantity of average to above average quality ikat textiles. I’m the Asian textile expert and knew if I didn’t write the report, the client would have a hard time to make a claim.
Another appraisal involved identification and quality comment of five Sumatran textiles recently inherited. Work like this involves specific provenance questions, and in this case revealed early 1940’s sale of similar property from the family to The Metropolitan Museum in New York. I was able to go on the museum inventory website to see like examples, copying identification numbers to pass on to client. It was a fun learning experience and renewed any understanding of the textiles I had seen.
A third appraisal was for Charitable Contribution to an academic institution by a retired anthropologist of textiles from Borneo. This involved little of my work; the property was identified, photographed and described by the owner. They provided examples with links to auctions like Material Culture and retail sites like trocadero.com & zentnercollection.com for value comparisons. Since total value was over the allowed threshold of $5,000.00 for an IRS deduction, an appraisal was needed.
Here was the start of the month … I own a painting by Qi Baishi that’s been in our family for many years…..
Enjoy the links,
U.S. Moves to Return Antiquity Said to Be Stolen From Cambodia