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The E-Sylum:  Volume 4, Number 12, March 18, 2001, Article 10

CONSIGNOR ANONYMITY 

   Bob Korver of Heritage writes: "Your question re anonymity 
   ("what's the big deal?") is embarrassingly simplistic. An 
   auctioneer is a legal agent of the consignor, and must fulfill 
   his legal requirements scrupulously. This is exactly why it 
   MUST take a court order." 

   Another take on the subject is provided by Mark Borckardt 
   of Bowers & Merena Galleries, who writes: "In response to 
   Karl Moulton's discussion of consignors to numismatic auctions, 
   there are many times when consignors request to remain 
   anonymous:  In fact, probably 90% of all consignors specifically 
   request to remain anonymous. 

   A case in point is the "Pennsylvania Cabinet" which we sold 
   over the last several years. We felt it was important to provide 
   some reference to this particular collection, and in fact identified 
   all of the coins in the various sales from this collection.  The 
   consignor was the widow of a very well known collector from 
   the state, and she specifically requested to remain anonymous. 

   Her reason was primarily that her late husband would not have 
   wanted any specific notoriety from the sale of this collection. 
   She did pay taxes on all proceeds and there was never any 
   question of title.  Some consignors, however, are delighted 
   with the thought of seeing their name on the cover of an 
   auction catalog. 

   The question of title is certainly interesting:  Our standard 
   auction contract has a specific clause in which the consignor 
   warrants good title to all items being sold. Thus, cooperation 
   with law enforcement would be a given should any question 
   arise. This is particularly important with the on-going ANS 
   vs. Sheldon/Naftzger situation." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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