Published: June 9, 2020
We are glad to be back. No more fancy buttons or virtual page flips — the search bar is back on page 36 and 37 and you can zoom in by turning on a light and bringing the paper closer to your eyes.
Subscribers will be credited 12 weeks to their subscription period and The Bee Publishing Company thanks each and every one of you for your patience and understanding amid the interruption of service.
We would also like to thank our advertisers for their continued support — without them there is no paper.
The news never stopped, of course, for those who followed our issues online each week in the E-Edition. If anyone feels nostalgic for the Coronavirus Issues, all ten of them, you can find them here.
For his illustrations that graced those covers, as well as this one, we’d like to extend our gratitude to Bob Eckstein. We asked him to “explore the environment of buying and selling amid the pandemic,” and he succeeded in illustrating that while putting a smile on our faces.
The buying and selling never stopped, you see. The industry is nimble. It found a way.
The shows were canceled, so they went online. Dealers committed their attention to studio photography as they created or updated their websites, penned well-written and researched descriptions, pushed inventory on social media and reworked their email blasts into veritable sales channels. The shows took to homegrown or established platforms to offer a plethora of riches from 50-plus dealers at a clip. We have enjoyed watching them all and reporting on them. A new era, indeed, and we’re not done yet.
Not a soul raised a paddle inside of an American auction house for over two months. Instead, bidders clicked buttons on platforms, left their bids with the auctioneer or made their voice heard over the phone. So many clicks, so many phone calls.
Auction records were set. Sales went white glove. Most firms that went online-only reported increased interest and average, above average or exceptional gross totals.
As sellers find their preferred formats in this time, we are so often impressed by their ingenuity and inventiveness. The content is pouring out of the industry for anyone listening. Wonderful stories are being told. Put your ear to the ground.
Nothing can stop a Twenty-First Century collector, not even a pandemic. A creature of knowledge, habit and yearning, the collector is an explorer who reimagines their wall or shelves as a vista of possibility and beauty. The collector has an unfailing belief in the stuff. Shipping solved the issue of distance, while photographs and honest communication solved the need for scrutiny. What else was there? Put a good return policy and a bow on it.
Online retail may be no substitute for the real exhibition, but for the next six months, consider it a lifeboat with a small hole in it. It requires constant bailing and attention, or it will not float.
Success amid the pandemic is not spread uniformly across the industry — there remains a sizable number of sellers who continue to struggle. Not least are the show promoters, show dealers and those who still run brick-and-mortar shops.
To the buyers: we ask you to support these sellers from the bottom to the top of the market. Peruse the ads in our paper, click the emails you’ve been getting and take a look around. You don’t always have to buy things, but if your livelihood was not affected in the last few months, please consider adding to your collection. The time to help is right now — it’s a good time to buy.
We are proud of the collecting community and how it has rallied together over the last 90 days. Keep the stuff at heart, your heart on your sleeve and your sleeves rolled up. Use the material of old to create the content of now.
We look forward to helping this community move forward and we thank you for your support.
We hope you enjoy the paper once again.
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