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Headlines and Highlights: Week of April 5th

Headlines and Highlights: Week of April 5th
April 5, 2024
Keenan Flack

80 Year-Old Marlborough Gallery Will Close its Doors This Year

Marlborough Gallery, a stalwart in the contemporary art scene for nearly 80 years with locations in New York, London, Madrid, and Barcelona, has announced it will cease operations by June 2024. This decision marks the end of an era for a gallery that played a pivotal role in the art world, representing major artists and estates across the globe. 

The closure involves the sale of the gallery's inventory over the coming years, with a portion of the proceeds going to support contemporary artists through donations to not-for-profit cultural institutions. The gallery aims for a smooth transition, with some staff staying on to manage the sales and return consignments to their owners, while expressing gratitude towards the artists and dedicated employees who have contributed to Marlborough's legacy.

The gallery's decision to wind down follows financial struggles exacerbated since 2020, leading to the loss of significant artists like Paula Rego and Frank Auerbach. Founded in 1946, Marlborough Fine Art gained prominence through its representation of French Impressionist and post-Impressionist painters, and later, key figures in German expressionism and British post-war contemporary art. Expansion to New York in the 1960s positioned Marlborough as one of the first mega-galleries. 

Recent years saw turmoil, including a family dispute that threatened its continuity and legal battles between board members and the gallery’s then president, Max Levai, over allegations of mismanagement. These disputes have since been settled, marking a conclusive end to the gallery’s long-standing influence and operations in the art world. ARTNET

Mascot and Whatnot partner up for a deal on cross-listing trading cards

Mascot, a platform designed for trading card sellers to list items across multiple selling platforms simultaneously, has announced a new partnership with Whatnot, the largest live-streaming collectibles sales platform in the United States. 

This collaboration enables Mascot users to seamlessly integrate their listings with Whatnot, thereby accessing a vast audience of potential buyers interested in live-streamed box breaks, live auctions, and fixed-price sales of sports cards. Whatnot's sports card category, launched in October 2020, has gained significant traction for its year-round, around-the-clock live auctions and sales, presenting Mascot users with an exciting new venue for their listings.

Mascot, which debuted in 2023, aims to increase liquidity for hobby shops, dealers, and collectors by providing a platform that supports listing on various channels, including eBay, Shopify, TikTok Shop, and MyCardPost. The platform's ability to automatically delist sold items from all channels helps prevent double selling, ensuring a smooth selling experience. With the addition of Whatnot to its integration list, Mascot offers its users the flexibility to sell trading cards through live auctions or fixed-price listings, expanding the potential for sales across both sports and non-sports card categories. This partnership reflects a growing trend of leveraging digital platforms and live streaming to reach wider audiences in the collectibles market. SCDAILY

Collectible Happenings

Altan Insights has launched our ‘Collectibles Record Board’, made up of 100 of the most expensive assets in the world. Categories include art, sports cards, Pokémon cards, musical instruments, comic books and much much more! ALTAN

Daps is a direct-to-consumer platform that enhances the connection between fans and athletes, allowing the latter to profit from their name, image, and likenesses with products like autographed trading cards and game-worn items. As the men’s Final Four approaches, Daps has collaborated with players from Purdue, Alabama, UConn, and N.C. State, aiming to expand its services across all sports while adapting to the evolving dynamics of fan engagement. SPORTICO

Sportico profiles Alexis Ohanian in his crusade to increase the value of his wife’s, tennis GOAT Serena Williams, trading cards. He has reportedly submitted 7,000 items to PSA for grading. SPORTICO

Grading numbers for the month of March were record breaking for PSA. GemRate released their numbers which saw PSA grade 1.33 million cards, an all time high for the company. Check out our analysis in our most recent newsletter here ALTANINSIGHTS

After serving less than four years of a seven-year sentence for a massive art fraud costing victims $86 million, disgraced art dealer Inigo Philbrick is out of prison and plans to re-establish himself in the art world. Philbrick, who committed one of the most significant art market frauds, has been featured in Vanity Fair, expressing his intentions to return to art dealing despite the extensive legal and financial consequences of his actions. ARTNET

Heritage auctions sells a $6 million copy of ‘Action Comics #1”, setting a record sale for a comic book at auction. The previous record was held by ‘Amazing Fantasy #15’ which sold for $3,600,000 at Heritage in 2021. Check out our analysis of the top sales in comic books here. ALTAN

Panini America announced the exclusive signing of six top high school basketball recruits to trading card and memorabilia deals as Caitlin Clark's trading card rights transition from Fanatics/Topps to Panini. These signings come as NIL rules enable high school athletes to profit from endorsements, with Clark, after scoring 41 points in a recent NCAA tournament game, beginning her new exclusive deal with Panini, including sold-out autographed memorabilia. SCDAILY

Altan Insights partnered with hobbyDB to release a blog post diving into the market for Funko Pops. Check out what makes a Pop worth well into the six-figures. ALTAN

Golden Age Auctions has begun their 2024 Masters week auction. Lots features several high-value golf memorabilia items as well as a Andy Warhol’s portrait of Golf legends Jack Nicklaus. GOLDENAGE

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