Ignorant Weiss auction house


Senan Molony

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There is a news item on the home page of ET about a Philip Weiss auction in October.

It features the following, at an eye-watering €50,000-€75,000 guide:

Snyder Archive misinformation

The guy who wrote the description is a card-carrying dork, because he declined clarification on the following in the catalogue description -

quote:

"To me what could be the most significant part of this archive and Historically perhaps some of the most important photos relating to the Titanic to ever come to market...

He is referring, at least in part, to copies of the Fenwick photos, which can be seen on p. 160 of 'Titanic, An Illustrated History,' one of the best-selling Titanic books of all time.

The auctioneer claims that three photos -

quote:

show incredible images of what seems to be the S. S. Californian heading towards the Carpathia. In the three images the ship gets progressively larger until a great close image of the single Stack Four Mast ship is seen with people on deck.

Only one photo shows the Californian, taken by George Fenwick. The other two are Fenwick photos of the Birma.

Auctioneer continues -

quote:

To the best of my research abilities I can find no other records of images of the S.S. Californian on the scene

Then you haven't got or read the book, have you?

When I politely pointed out to Philip Weiss the likeihood that these were first-generation copies of the Fenwick pictures (which we know were taken by the Fenwicks, as they are also attributed by none other than Captain Rostron), the idiot auctioneer responds as follows:

quote:

These are certainly not copies, my research is not poor at all, these are 100% original photos. Phil Weiss.

No preliminaries, no thanks for pointing out the identical nature, just blanket denial. From someone who thinks he is looking at three pictures of the Californian.

From someone who doesn't understand that friends on the passage can send each other copies of their pictures.

From someone who is posing as an expert, but whose 'expert' research doesn't extend to knowing about the Fenwick photos.

It's not often I say this, but I'm going to say it now -

What a berk.

Buyer beware!

Vendor, be alarmed!
 

Senan Molony

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This gentleman writes to me, rather wonderfully -

quote:

Since you have not examined these in person why would you presume to know these are not original photos. Please note that I will follow your “blogs” carefully for what I might consider comments that could potentially hurt the sale of this material or my reputation in the industry which has been unblemished for 25 years of auctioning. I would not hesitate to do whatever necessary to protect the interests of my consignor or my reputation. Consider your actions carefully.

I should just do him the perfect justice, then, of reflecting his opinion that these are original photos - ie, taken by the Snyders!

Yes, they rescued a camera from their Titanic stateroom, apparently, took no photos then, but insisted on going on deck once they reached the Carpathia and shooting off these historic images.

Even though Mrs Snyder states in a letter (on this site) that when she and her husband reached the Carpathia, they "just sat on the floor and shook."

Sometimes you just gotta laugh!
 
Oct 10, 2010
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Why should he compliment you for helping to point out his mistakes when you send him inflammatory messages like

"Well you should check that book out then, shouldn't you?
Your ignorant response confirms your ignorance, which I shall now have no difficulty highlighting online."

and "Don't threaten me, you stoopid ass."
 

Senan Molony

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Such a good name, Pearson Ramsay. A real lawyer's name.

But your posting neglects to note that I am registered to bid on this auction, that I began by sending a query to Phil Weiss (unanswered), and that when I next suggested to him that these were Fenwick-original copy photos (ie duplicates) and that my point could be checked by reference to the Don Lynch book, he responded in the most intemperate, puffed-up terms.

That's when I sent back that single line - that he should check out the book, one of the most mainstream Titanic publications of all - which remark I provided again in post No. 1 here.
That was the reply in its entirety.

This remark drew fresh wrath on my head, so yes I told him I believed him to be a stoopid ass, an opinion from which I do not resile in the slightest!

Not in the slightest my dear proxy Pearson!

Your boy next claimed to able to spell 'stupid' correctly, at which point, amid much cackling, I decided he wasn't worth wasting breath on.

So, Pearson, I guess that means you have no shots left in your locker.

But the copyright-holder of these photographs does.... and I believe he may already have been in contact with you. He's certainly consulted other lawyers.

So my bet is that there is only one way for this little spat to end. And that will be with huge amounts of omelette all over the face of Philip Weiss Auctions.

The bottom line is that the current description of these items, tastefully offered in tupperware by the auction house, cannot stand.

By the way, I know other auctioneers are having a good laugh at the Weiss plight at this point. I know I am.
 

Senan Molony

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The item description has now been updated, and this really is tremendous comedy:

quote:

At present we are continuing researching the photos in this grouping, but they certainly appear to be photos taking during the period and not "reproductions" as some bloggers may intimate .It is important also to note that we have never, nor do now claim that these photos were taken by the Snyder's, we do state that these photos were in the possession of the family members to whom this archive was handed down to, whether the Snyders took these themselves or acquired them at the time no one knows. t also is interesting to note that some "bloggers" acknowledge one image is of the Californian, yet dispute two of the others , yet when looking at them, they certainly appear to be the same ship.

So our man of impeccable research has re-opened his research - and all because of "bloggers," whom he now rails about, rather unprofessionally, in the item description. Not very dignified, is it?

>>whether the Snyders took these themselves or acquired them at the time no one knows.<<

I'm afraid a very large number of people do indeed know, not including Mr Weiss.

Meanwhile he still has no idea whatsoever about the Birma, which is rather touching in its way. He relies chiefly on what the photos look like to him - and spurns advice!

I would call this ignorance married to overweening pride, but infused now with a slight sense of caution.

And this because an auctioneer is legally obliged to give a true picture of every lot.

Not to acknowledge the presence of a "blog" warning about these items, before the auction is held, would amount to legal proof that a true picture of the disputed provenance was not given - invalidating a sale Mr Expert expects to fetch in the amount of €50,000 to €75,000.

There could yet be a twist or two in this tale yet.

Maybe now Phil Weiss would like to come on here as the organ-grinder himself and discuss the matter...

And with such a large estimate placed on the single lot, maybe it would be nice and kind of him to his consigning vendor to take it out of its tupperware.

Furthermore, and without being pious, let's remember one thing: that this is what the Titanic community is for. To highlight just such matters germane to 'our coterie.'
 

Senan Molony

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Class for remedial students, like stooopid rude auctioneers -

The Birma -

208950.png


Superstructure extending past both of the middle masts.

And now:


The Californian -


208951.png


Superstructure *contained* within both of the middle masts.

But

From the Rude Stoopid Guy:

quote:

"they certainly appear to be the same ship."

What a prize berk.

What a "45 years experience" card-carrying idiot.

Here's another question for Phil Weiss, oracle of ocean liners -

How come someone can just pop up magnified pictures of these *unique* Snyder originals onto the web - sorry, a "blog" - when they're solely in your possession?

Doh!

Berk.
 

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