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Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 1st

Headlines and Highlights: Week of September 1st
September 1, 2023
Keenan Flack

From $27k to $1M and back again?


The News: A Michael Jordan game-used jersey is at the center of a scam involving an allegedly fake foundation, The Tony Ranze Foundation. The foundation purportedly provided exclusive photographs to the photomatching firm, MeiGray, who assessed a non-photomatched $27,000 MJ jersey only for it to sell for just over 7-figures post-authentication.

Play-By-Play: The provided photos allowed MeiGray to authenticate the jersey, dramatically increasing its value.That authenticity (and price-bump) came into question a few weeks ago; social media users, unaware of these private pictures, began criticizing the accuracy of the match based upon public pictures. At the time, MeiGray assured collectors that it had exclusive photos guaranteeing the match. Now that the source of these pictures is being called into question, the value of the recently $1M priced jersey is as well. All of this has resulted in MeiGray freezing the authentication of the jersey while they investigate the situation.

What's Next: This scandal calls into question the methods and legitimacy of autograph and memorabilia authentication. There are sure to be developments in this story, as we are only just beginning to understand how exactly all this played out.  ACTIONNETWORK

Update: Since writing the above, Darren Rovell tweeted out an email he received from the foundation. This story just keeps on going…  TWITTER

Golden Throne Unknown: U.K. Authorities Near Charges for Burglars of $6M Toilet

Leon Neal/Getty Images

The Story: U.K. authorities are close to charging seven suspects for the 2019 theft of Maurizio Cattelan's golden toilet sculpture, America, from Blenheim Palace. The sculpture, made almost entirely of gold and worth $6 million, was physically ripped from the plumbing. 

Recent Developments: After four years of investigation, evidence has been submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service for a decision on pressing charges. The high-profile heist occurred just before 5 a.m. and flooded the wood-paneled bathroom–just right next door to the room where Winston Churchill was born.

What's Next: Authorities suspect the stolen artwork may have been melted down for its gold value; worrying for those of us who would enjoy utilizing the golden toilet. We will have to see what this evidence allows authorities to uncover about what happened to the work. ARTNET

Collectible Happenings:

Michael Jordan PSA Type 1 photo of his debut sells for $175k in a private sale at Goldin. Breaking the recently set record of $141k at Lelands Auctions for a different picture of MJ during his October 26th, 1984 debut. SPORTSCOLLECTORSDIGEST

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has sued LA-based podcasting firm Impact Theory for allegedly offering securities through NFTs, raising over $30 million. Despite attempts to remedy the situation by repurchasing the NFTs and paying over $6 million in penalties, SEC commissioners are divided over the enforcement action. AXIOS

Kevin O’Neill named CEO of Leaf Trading Cards replacing long-time CEO Brian Gray. O’Neill is a hobby veteran with time served at both Beckett and Topps. TWITTER . BECKETT

Panini files in opposition to Fanatics’ attempt to transfer the case from Florida to New York. TWITTER

2003 Panini Ronaldo rookie card received a buyout offer of $62k at Rally; representing a -64.29% return since IPO. The buyout will likely be rejected, around 75% of shares voting no as of this writing. TWITTER

Bidding has opened for the1972 NBA Finals Wilt Chamberlain jersey at Sotheby’s. Currently sitting at $4M, we will see what the price is on September 27th. SOTHEBYS

CGC launches video game cleaning service. CGC

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