Are Collectors Really Crazy Sometimes?

A folk art painting comes up at auction (of a schooner). It is attributed to a well-known limner. It is mounted on Masonite (not unusual if the painting is to be preserved). It has restoration. I share detailed pictures of it with an art dealer with whom I have worked who has pointed the way for me to a really good art restorer. The art dealer tells me that all the restoration to the canvas will have to be undone and redone, that it really should be mounted on a stretcher again, and that restoration will probably cost a minimum of $3000 but that problems probably exist with the painting to raise that price substantially.

The painting sells for what a painting by that artist in very nice condition would bring. What’s the deal? Awful expensive to simply look at from a distance while ignoring its flaws and faults. Are collectors really crazy sometimes? Does anyone have any ideas? Let me know.

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