Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Vintage Sam Newton highwaymen art

Looks like I'm writing about Sam Newton again.

He's been my "hot artist" lately.

I bought this classic highwaymen beauty, a masterpiece, actually, from Herb Smith last week and sold it at the St Pete Floridiana show in the Palladium Sunday.


Here's a copy of the email I sent him the next morning.:

Good morning, Herb.

Well, your Sam didn't last very long on my dining room wall!

So these 40ish two ladies are fluttering around my 5 new 8x10's I bought from Sam. I'm thinking one will help the other pick out the "best" one and it'll be a good start to the show.

They surprised me and said, "What can you do on these three, plus the upson 24x18" I had, typical plain sunrise river scene. So I went thru the whole dog and pony show, writing the orig prices on a big sheet of paper and crossing them off, putting discounted prices down, and so on.

They said, "OK. By the way, we're decorating our new offices in the Suntrust building downtown St Pete." Couple of people from an insurance agency with their offices in a brand new glass building. Bare walls. So I went to work on them.

"I have these gorgeous other vintage pieces, Harold jumbo, Hair 2x4, Moran 2x4", all seascapes, (all so big I hate them now). "No, we don't like seascapes". But they gravitated to your Sam pine tree.

"This is the best one I've had in 10 years, blah, blah, blah and I wouldn't sell it for a penny less than $2000.00" They love it now, but the higher price made them gun shy. God bless them, they called the office designer on their cell and she came to the show.

So now it's a "committee". The designer is in her mid-late 20's, well dressed, drop dead gorgeous, and she absolutely loved your Sam. She had to get approval from the COO, to spend that kind of money on a single piece. I came down to 1800 (out of respect for the 4 already bought, plus she had a great ass). So out comes her phone and she calls him. Can't be reached. "Let me put it over here (down a hall across from a bench), we don't want anyone else to buy it"

Sentries guarding a new found treasure while waiting for a return call from "the General".

Very busy show. After about an hour, I go see them, "So......?" "We called the COO and the CEO and got voice mail".

"Well, those guys are busy guys. They don't have time for stuff like this. That's why you guys are here".

After I go back to other sales and appraisals and such, I see it's been about another half hour, and the sentries come marching in. They never got a call back, but they said, "OK, we'll take it".

Now I just hope the COO or the CEO says, "Hey, I really like seascapes, call this guy".

I'm not bragging, Herb, I knew you'd enjoy this story. Those were the only hwymn I sold (+ another new Sam), 6 Sams, but I sold a few grand in cheaper FL stuff.

Sounds like fun, but I paid the price. Up at 4, drive to St P 5-6, load in 6-8, set up 8-10, on my feet talking 10-5, pack and load out 5-6:30, drive home an hour. Shower, double Dewars, enchiladas and CRASH.

Thanks for finding that Sam.


cell 727 809 1691


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Vintage Sam Newton

I may be a "cock-eyed optimist", but my gut tells me the economy is improving. Or maybe it's "the season" when all the snow birds are here with their money. The "season" didn't make ANY DIFFERENCE in 2010 and 2011, two excruciating years for a small business, especially in Florida.

January 2013 was a tremendous month highwaymen art commerce, and here I am, 3 days into February, the first show hasn't even started yet (Friday Feb. 8 in West Palm) and it's already blown away January results. Go ahead and ask me if I'm relishing the moment.

And then you can ask me if I relished the eight or ten shows I did in the last few years, all of them with  weekend expenses equal to $1000.00, where I had sales volumes of less than $400.00 and included more than a fair share of complete shutouts with zero sales results.

So, I still have a couple of years of catching up to do.

I was going through some old files and noticed this beautiful sunset by Sam Newton, classic 24x36 on upson board with the original 1960's crown molding frame.

The promoter of the first Florida Memorabilia show, which was probably in 2005 as that's the date on this image from my files,  had asked me to meet her at the Tampa Tribune and bring along a half dozen highwaymen paintings for a TV-newspaper photo shoot, and this is one that I brought.

Annette Ross is unquestionably the most effective owner-promoter of any of these types of shows that I've been doing for 18 years now, and she kicked off this continuing annual series , now called the Floridiana-Highwaymen Show, usually in St. Pete, but always at least close to her home base, Hula Hula Productions, in a big way with a big media blitz.

This particular one, her first specialized one of this nature, was crowded into the "Old Sunken Gardens" in St. Pete. The Sunken Gardens itself is crowded into the concrete and asphalt of the area.

The newspaper ran a special section for "What to do this weekend" and the front page of that section featured a large photo in full color to headline and highlight the "featured attraction". I had no idea ahead of time, but when I picked up a copy of the paper on Friday, (the show was on Sunday) I was both amazed and thrilled that the editors had chosen a piece of my inventory as the "hook" to catch people's attention.

This beauty was one of the first pieces of many to sell at the show, we stayed very busy that day. A woman had seen it in the newspaper and fell in love with it immediately. Upon attending the show and seeing it in person, she had to own it.

They ALWAYS look better in person than any Internet image or photograph of any kind.
And that's a fact, Jack.....

So, of course, we negotiated the price respectfully for a little bit, and she brought it home with her.

Unfortunately I had only bought one copy of the newspaper, which I had brought along to the show for obvious reasons, and she insisted on having it, so of course I gave it to her.

Lord knows, I've bought and sold at least 50 Sam Newton sunsets of varying sizes and ages, including new ones, in this market, but this particular piece is certainly my most memorable one.

This year the show is in the Palladium in St Pete on Sunday February 24.