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Old 10th March 2013, 02:13 PM   #1
Lee
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Unhappy End of an Era - Higgins Armory Museum to close

The financial crisis has claimed another victim:

Higgins Integration

The majority of the collection (but, presumably, none of its best items) is being sold with the first large tranche coming under the hammer on March 20 at Thomas Del Mar in London.
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Old 10th March 2013, 02:23 PM   #2
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Very sad to hear. I never had a chance to visit myself but I it certainly had a wonderful reputation. At least some of the collections are being saved and not all is being sold off.
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Old 10th March 2013, 02:33 PM   #3
fernando
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One the worst events for arms and armour enthusiasts of this time being period. I can imagine how many, including yourself Lee, become aware of this announcement with the saddest feeling.
I had the privilege to have recently visited this charismatic place.
Let us hope that its best contents will be kept and still in public exhibition in its new residence.
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Old 10th March 2013, 02:58 PM   #4
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I've known about this for several days. I've donated stuff for thier educational program as well as financially over the years. David Nagel's wife ( used to head the educational department ) kidnapped my daughter when she was 4 for most of a day back in the 90's on a visit there and took her on a personal tour. I have friends who teach classes there in various aspects of WMA. This is as sad a day as ever thier was as this invaluable resource announces its closing.
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Old 10th March 2013, 04:29 PM   #5
fernando
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For those not familiar with the museum characteristic building.

.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 05:24 AM   #6
Lee
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Lightbulb There is nothing like provenance...

The selection of items from the Higgins performed strongly with many objects exceeding the high estimate several times over.

Similar performance was seen at Bonham's auction of items from the E. A. Christensen collection.

There is nothing like solid, well documented provenance to bring up the price.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 12:40 PM   #7
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Astonishing.
I bet the owner of the Alexandria Arsenal Mamluk sword will comission the making of a chest to keep it safe.
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Old 24th April 2013, 06:28 AM   #8
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Hello Lee,

Quote:
The selection of items from the Higgins performed strongly with many objects exceeding the high estimate several times over.

Well, I'd posit that most estimates were classic English understatement or a mere selling strategy to begin with rather than true estimates of current market prices.

Still, there is no doubt that the provenance also encouraged investment bidders and allowed quite a few pieces to perform very strongly.

Regards,
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Old 24th April 2013, 11:51 AM   #9
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I'm just happy I bought something. Apart from the reputation, the long lines of provenance are very interesting and are a rarity to find, something which offers very good insight in to items that are some times hard to date.

Gavin
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Old 24th April 2013, 03:22 PM   #10
Lee
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Wink true

Kai - I'll agree that the auction houses deliberately low ball their estimate ranges to bring more punters in the door. 'English understatement' is a nice euphemism for the practice. I bid on an item in the Christensen sale and was doubtful of my chances even at 2x the high estimate. I was not even the underbidder and it went for 6x.

freebooter - Congratulations; I'll look forward to seeing your new acquisition.
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Old 15th March 2014, 03:55 PM   #11
Matchlock
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Hi Lee and all,


Two days ago, I received a notice by the same auction house as before, Thomas Del Mar, that there will be another London sale of contents from the Higgins Armory on May 7 this year.

I cannot tell whether this sale is going to comprise the whole of what used to be 'The Higgins' but in all probability it will. This, I'm afraid, would really mean the end of an era.

I still remember many prices literally going through the roof last year, fetching more than triple of what they would have made without that provenance ...


Michael
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Old 15th March 2014, 06:47 PM   #12
Marcus den toom
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I am to young to have seen this amazing museum (to far away), but i share the sad mood
It seems that the ruling power (governments) are more likely to pour money into quicksand than preserving educational significant and historical heritages
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