Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

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Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Changes at the very top at mossgreen auctions Melbourne

Most readers will be aware of this auction company. Charles Leski Auctions merged into mossgreen some years back. Followed a couple of years later by major Australian stamp auction, Gary Watson’s Prestige Philately, and Nick Anning moved across with him. And in the past year or 2, also Torsten Weller’s postal history business.

All 4 well known identities actively work for the mossgreen company, although from what I can see, Leski has no direct connection with the stamp area these days.

Mossgreen were also in the fine arts auction business and there are regular sales.

They conducted a very well run, and very well publicised and patronised sale of the Arthur Gray “KGV” material a year or so back. Myself and many others flew in for the first sale, and it invoiced for about $A3 million - a record for any stamp auction in this country. Just beating out Phoenix’s superb offering of the Stuart Hardy Kangaroos from May 2013.

I took this photo of Charles Leski (left) and Gary Watson outside the viewing rooms.
Image
For some very strange reason the Gray family then entrusted the Arthur Gray mega award winning ‘QE2’ and ‘KGVI’ collections to Spink in London. Huge error in my view, as Sterling crashed after Brexit. Spink are generally totally and consistently hopeless at promoting anything philatelic, in my long experience. The ‘QE2’ was very disappointing results wise it looked to me.

The ‘Gray KGVI’ sale takes place in a few days Spink advise. At time of writing I have not seen a catalogue. I asked for one by email to head of stamp division and got no reply. I spent a large 5 figure sum at the Gray KGV sale. (And the Gray “Kangaroo” sale before that, also well run, and very well supported.) The Spink website is designed and run by Aeroflot or Monty Python Flying Circus it appears, and is near unusable.

Type into google - "Arthur Gray KGVI stamp collection" - and not a MENTION of the Spink sale - but a ton of links to the mossgreen KGV one - Spink "marketing" incompetence on a Grand Scale -

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=arthur+gray+KGVI+stamp+co ... 8wf6uY_IBg

There was no ad or mention in the leading “Stamp News” magazine published in late August for “KGVI” sale, and they sent a press release to magazines a week back saying the sale was almost taking place. Totally hopeless, and incompetent, and lazy at marketing stamps, but that is Spink, and I am digressing.

The mossgreen website until last month showed Jack Gringlas as Chairman of mossgreen, and Charles Leski as Deputy Chairman -

https://web.archive.org/web/20170714193321/https://www.mossg ... directors/

Both names are absent now on the website.

The 'Australian Financial Review' reported on August 30 -

Mossgreen is now understood to have parted company with its chairman and major financial backer, billionaire Jack Gringlas.

As reported in these pages, it has in recent times reduced staff after moving into the stamp business, and spreading its operations to New Zealand.


https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/two- ... 830-gy6xy3

The same newspaper reported earlier in August –

"Mossgreen is shedding more than a dozen staff and has sold its premises, but chief executive Paul Sumner says it is business as usual at the Melbourne-based auction house, which continues to line up sales at a frenetic pace.

Sumner says the staff restructure reflects the firm's increasing focus on single-owner collections and higher value lots following its expansion in recent years - including the merger with the Charles Leski stamp auction group in 2013, and the takeover of New Zealand's Webb's last year.

He says the job-shedding involves mainly internal support staff, though one specialist left of his own accord.

As for the sale of its premises, a refurbished cinema in Armadale that was once the home of Sotheby's, Sumner says the firm leases the building, as it does all its premises. "The new owner is someone we know well," he says.


https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/moss ... 802-gxnjgz

The AFR also published August 23 that a well-known person to many collectors and members here had left mossgreen –

"It was recently announced that Max Williamson, long-time sports specialist with Charles Leski Auctions, then with Mossgreen after the Leski merger, has now joined Leonard Joel in Melbourne.

This shows that sports memorabilia is now one of the most competitive categories on the secondary market.

"I am thrilled that Max Williamson, easily the acknowledged leading Australian expert in the sporting memorabilia area, has joined Leonard Joel," says managing director John Albrecht.

There are surprisingly few experts in this area. Over the past few decades Williamson has tapped into the tight network of collectors, which means they tend to approach him first.

"Every morning I sit down in front of the computer and go through my emails," he says. "Most are asking me the same thing … 'what's it worth?'
"

https://www.afr.com/lifestyle/arts-and-entertainment/art/spor ... 823-gy24l1

I understand that many millions had been spent in recent times on the large mossgreen complex in trendy inner city ‘Antiques Alley’ Armadale. Whether Jack Gringlas owned it I am not sure, but I assumed he did. It used to be the Sotheby’s offices.

Gringlas is a Billionaire according to the AFR above, and clearly has deep pockets. He is a very active stamp collector, and I imagine that is why he was keen to see a strong stamp operation merge in to the mossgreen Fine Arts umbrella. Good to see!

I suggested to he and Charles when in Melbourne that buying Stanley Gibbons might be an idea to look into. He was not keen - “I like auctioning things, not buying companies with fixed stocks” and I can see it really was not a fit for the operation. In hindsight rather wise, as the SG share price has slumped further in the interim – sadly. :(

Who actually owns mossgreen now, I honestly do not know, or whether they are as keen about stamps as Gringlas was. Leski, Watson, Weller and Anning are all still in situ there as far as I can see, and let’s hope things stay that way. :mrgreen:

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Re: Changes at the very top at mossgreen auctions Melbourne

Post by Finchley Chris »

Spink catalogue for 19 September :

https://www.spink.com/files/catalogue/17037.pdf

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Re: Changes at the very top at mossgreen auctions Melbourne

Post by Rod Perry »

Not much surprises some of us in Philately, but Mossgreen does a pretty good job at trying, eh, Glen.

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Re: Changes at the very top at mossgreen auctions Melbourne

Post by Kevin Morgan »

Running an auction nowadays is very costly, as I soon found out with 21st Century Auctions, which i now prefer to run as a fixed Ebay operation, where costs are a bit more easy to control.

Running a magazine is also quite precarious, but 15 years plus since taking on Stamp News we are still here despite a leading figure in the industry circulating his notion "I will give him 6 months"

I am predicting Mossgreen will have to cut costs even further in the short term, especially as they have had to trim their commission structure somewhat.
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Re: Changes at the very top at mossgreen auctions Melbourne

Post by rsellens »

Another example of good marketing. I went to the Spink site and tried to access the e-catalogue which transfers you to the ISSUU site but lo and behold there ain't one there!

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Re: Changes at the very top at mossgreen auctions Melbourne

Post by aethelwulf »

Mossgreen launched a cafe in their premises before, doing lunch and high tea...is that still around?
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by mcgooley »

The cafe definitely was operating earlier this year.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by tapstamp »

Glen, I consider that you have been a little hard on Spink with your comments. Were your comments based on your displeasure of not receiving a catalogue ?.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

tapstamp wrote:
Glen, I consider that you have been a little hard on Spink with your comments. Were your comments based on your displeasure of not receiving a catalogue?
Tom, If I were the vendor of a MAJOR Australia Gold Medal collection, and entrusted it to Spink London and they essentially told no-one on the local market in general it was for sale, I'd be MIGHTILY pissed.

Not even one ad for the sale here, and advising media a week or so before the sale it was to take place is lazy and indifferent incompetence in my view. That might seen "hard" to you, but you are not the vendor's family who will doubtless lose heavily by Spink's lack of interest. :roll:

I regarded Arthur Gray as a very good friend, and this alleged "marketing" was an insult to him, and to his superb, and often unique material in there.

And yes, to answer your question, not sending me a sale catalogue is also bog basic stupidly however, given the large 6 figure sum I personally spent buying Gray 'Kangaroos' and 'KGV' material at auctions. :idea:

SAVVY auctions know who the real buyers are in each field, and ensure they receive catalogues.

Anyway, this has NOTHING to do with mossgreen auctions, the subject of this thread, who to their credit did a quite superb job on the Gray "KGV" as I am certain you will agree, as you were there. :mrgreen:

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Global Administrator wrote:
Who actually owns mossgreen now, I honestly do not know, or whether they are as keen about stamps as Gringlas was. Leski, Watson, Weller and Anning are all still in situ there as far as I can see, and let’s hope things stay that way. :mrgreen:

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I got a note today from a most reliable source who knows the story -

"Paul Sumner & his wife now own 100% of mossgreen, having bought back the shares of Jack Gringlas & Charles Leski. Charles Leski is now Head of Australiana & Sport."

The mossgeen website under "The Team" as of 5 minutes ago, seems to shows a somewhat lesser role for Charles Leski, in the long conga line of senior level staffers they have listed there -

http://www.mossgreen.com.au/content/the-team/

Charles Leski
Head of Australian History and Online Single-Owner Sales Department




As an aside .. whilst trawling around the website to try and answer my own question above, I noted an art auction taking place in 3 weeks had a nice Norman Lindsay painting on front cover in their forthcoming highlights, and I collect Lindsays.

Tried wrestling with their arcane website, and could not find it. Typed in LINDSAY into the alleged online search, and it showed no results for Norman anywhere.

Having spent a bit of time there for the Gray sale, I can assure anyone who have not visited there that mossgreen have a staff number that most bloated Government departments would be envious of. The ~25% 'Buyer Fees' pays for all this vast army of course.

There were 3 pretty young pouting fashionistas perched daintily there at a podium, just to answer and direct phone calls etc - I am sure they have an Armani switchboard and Gucci pens. :lol: :lol:

And an acre of accounts and paperwork staff etc upstairs. Anyway, among them all you'd think a functioning website would somehow ensue, but do not bet on that.

I emailed to ask to be enabled to online bid for this art sale. A robot confirmed I was approved - however, no I am not. So a wasted half hour of my life I will never get back again, wrestling with the mossgreen maddening website, and raising my blood pressure, and I'll buy paintings elsewhere thanks.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Allanswood »

The Norman Lindsay is shown but not actually offered for that next Auction. It will be in the future Nov auction in Melb for the same collection. The first part looks to be online only.

So it has no reference and no lot number and yes, that's really weird for a 'named' collection and auction, but you can't buy it at that auction?

If you open the flipbook for the auction, you can download it as a PDF file.

There are some very nice pieces on offer! I like number 10.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Their own website shows this on front cover all over their website for a dated sale in 3 weeks Greg on October 9 in Queensland.

Monumental incompetence from whomever is supposed to oversee such basic errors not occurring. They have enough staff in there to get everything RIGHT and double checked.

The Hooper collection catalogue IS online, but this front cover painting does not appear anywhere in it, the idiots. A wasted half hour of my life I'll now never get back. I looked and checked, and scrolled thru the entire listing. TWICE. And still can't bid on the things that ARE listed there, despite being told by email I can.

I am a mere stamp dealer but people whose time is REALLY valuable - CEOs, Medical and legal professionals, and real movers and shakers etc (their target clientele really!) simply will not waste tons of time time playing "let's all guess where they are hiding these lots" stupid games.

Monty Python Auctions Inc. :twisted: :twisted:
Image

Image
(Received Friday September 15.)

Dear Glen Stephens,

Your registration has been approved and you are invited to participate in our The Hooper Collection.

Please click on the following link to join the auction: https://www.mossgreen.com.au/m/view-auctions/catalog/id/452/.

Please keep a record of your username and password to enable registration in future auctions.

Regards,

Mossgreen

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Allanswood »

Page 13. Estimate $8,000-$12,000 No lot number.

"To be included in:
IMPORTANT AUSTRALIAN &
INTERNATIONAL ART
Auction: Melbourne, November 2017"


The front cover is missleading as you can't bid on it for the auction that is dated on the same cover.

So you likely have been registered for that actual auction, which does not have that painting in it.

I too would be miffed. :shock:
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Greg .. perhaps the relevant armies of boffins are in the the mossgreen tea rooms, sipping skim goat milk Lattes, and hoeing into warm rocket and smashed avocado and dill cucumber, on hand made sour dough gluten free and OMEGA3 enriched bread sandwiches, instead of actually looking at their own website for a change!

A lady called Leanne just phoned me to say I can't place bids on the Hooper collection "until a week before it starts". I told her bids for the October STAMP auction are able to be bid on now online as I had just done that.

"That one is different". OK. Hmmmm. Mossgreen Python Auctions indeed.

The whole IDEA of online auctions is to get as many bids as possible and if the entire catalogue is listed up there now, but bids are NOT accepted is mind-boggling! Me, I'm busy, and a few things I would have bid on in impulse, will not occur, as I am not setting my stopwatch for 2 weeks time, to suit their weird systems. Whomever the "Hoopers" are will not be impressed I am sure, if things do not sell.

Asked Leanne if she realised the much highlighted Norman Lindsay painting on the front cover of the Hooper Collection was actually NOT in that sale, and she at first politely seemed to be indicating I was nuts.

After a while, the penny dropped I think, that I was in fact correct, and a search of LINDSAY on their own website did not bring it up.

The tearooms hopefully will be evacuated this afternoon with a fire hose, so some real work can be done, and the website fixed. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Let's time how long it is before the army of Art Boffins get to work and fix this silly and totally misleading mess on their main page -
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https://www.mossgreen.com.au/content/forthcoming-auctions/

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Allanswood »

Perhaps their alfalfa sprouts and mung beans fermented?
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Ha! Perhaps the online Whizzes there are drinking the results. :)

Whoever decided to heavily promote, and load up an entire art auction with images to the website (with a front cover piece that is not in the sale!) and then demand cashed up buyers wait weeks before being allowed to leave bids, needs to find a new job at Aeroflot. Totally insane!
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by GJ50 »

Global Administrator wrote:
For some very strange reason the Gray family then entrusted the Arthur Gray mega award winning ‘QE2’ and ‘KGVI’ collections to Spink in London. Huge error in my view, as Sterling crashed after Brexit.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Jack Gringlas »

Hi Glen,

This is Jack Gringlas, I joined up to the stampboards Chat Board, to correct/clarify and comment on a few of your notes in this post.

Basically most of what you have stated is correct.

I have retired from the Board and the Chairman's role at Mossgreen.

Both Charles Leski & I have sold our shares to Paul Sumner. There is nothing unusual about this, just part of my transition to retirement planning, whereby I am reducing the number of active boards that I sit at.

I am mainly focused on my Finance business working with my son to grow a significant mortgage investment business for commercial loans, together with managing a number of other business investments.

Regrettably the AFR did next to zero research and got one big fact wrong: I am certainly not a Billionaire :(

However, I am not complaining as I do certainly have sufficient funds to maintain my expensive stamp collecting passion. (But please don't tell the wife) :)

At Mossgreen it is business as usual with Torsten Weller heading the Philatelic Department and Gary Watson continuing as the leading expert as usual. Nick Anning Looks after the Coin and Bank Note Department and Charles Leski Looks after the Australian History department. (Both Nick & Charles are also expert consultants to the Philatelic Department).

Like you, I believe the 4 of them represent the "A" Team when it comes to Philatelic Auctions in Australia

On the topic on the topic of the Arthur Gray sales, all I can say is that I was extremely perplexed and disappointed that Arthur's family chose to send the recent offerings to Spink. Gary and I negotiated with Arthur personally to get the KGV collection for sale.

I know he was very complimentary of his dealings with both Gary and Charles and stated to me, that he believed that since they joined forces, Mossgreen was the only place to sell an Australian stamp collection (he chose us over strong offers from both Spink and Siegel) and as you know we produced an award winning catalogue and achieved over $3m in sales for the estate.

Who knows what logic, or lack there of, motivated the family to ignore his obvious wishes and not to continue to work with Mossgreen? I am sure he would be very disappointed with both that decision and the results of the auctions. (And what happened to Arthur's insistence that Leather bound catalogues be produced for each sale?)

Anyway, enough from me as I am now just a private stamp collector, typing away at his computer

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Good to see you here Jack, and knowing you are a keen collector, do hope you can add some input to discussions on your areas of interest, and also ask on anything stamp wise that you have a query on - we have members from 150 countries, and all questions get answered. 8)

Just noticed you have started a "wants" thread here for one of your sideline collections - hope members fill a few holes for you. :idea:

Not sure what of my factual report of your mossgreen sale needs "correcting" - except for me quoting the Financial Review's report you were a billionaire - not that it matters to me, but they typed it, not me!

I knew Arthur very well for decades, and he'd pop by here for a coffee and cigarette often.

The photo of I took of him sitting having both, looking over at one of my Water Dragons was in your mossgreen Gray "KGV" catalogue, and had a caption originally like "Arthur Gray, admiring the Harbour View from his pool deck". (His St Ives home was 10km from ANY part of Sydney Harbour!)

Gary luckily sent me a "final" PDF proof of the catalogue prior to printing, and he frantically excised that caption line from the plate at the printers - literally as it went to print!
Image
I agree with you Jack, the mossgreen KGV catalogue and marketing was superb, and deluxe hard bound, with a leather look cover, and very similar to the Shreves New York one for "Kangaroos". Both First Class.

Arthur told me too, that is what he wanted for all his sales, and why Spink did not do it, only they know. In my experience, Arfer always got what he wanted! There would be some severely bruised and banged together Pommie heads over there, if he was still with us I suspect. :lol:

Due to savvy work from Gary Watson offering me scans and estimates of many key "KGV" pieces way in advance, I was able to highlight them MONTHS before the sale date in the global stamp magazine columns I write. Good for mossgreen - and good for Arthur. :idea:

https://www.glenstephens.com/snseptember15.html

And then cover the results in detail resulting in many unsolds being cleared-

https://www.glenstephens.com/sndecember15.html

Spink are so disinterested and disorganised, a press release was sent just 2 weeks before the "KGVI" sale took place (so helpful for our monthly magazines!) via a thin soft bound catalogue!

The mossgreen "KGV" sale was announced to the world HERE first on stampboards of course, and ~12,000 pages views later, it created global interest WAY ahead of the sale taking place -

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=61672

The mossgreen and Shreves catalogues of Gray I have always written, were the finest produced by any stamp auctions ANYWHERE, at any time. I gladly purchased cartons of both from the auctioneers, and sold them to clients with that high recommendation. Both are ESSENTIAL to own. I am long sold out of both, and have "no skin in the game" but still hold that view - hunt them down!

In 50 years time these two will still be highly sought reference books and absolute "primers" for both issues. :idea:

Glen
Image

Image
Superb illustrations such as these below - I bought this piece on a whim down there, and it is now lost in the rubble on my desks, along with many other fine ex-Gray pieces .... I still have many 2007 "Kangaroos" lots on Shreve lotcards, lost in this madhouse!

The value of quality stamps rises WAY faster than bank interest, (and are far more interesting to look at than Bank Statements!) so losing such things for decades never worries me. :lol:
Image

Image

Image
The unique Gray 1914 Unissued Pair at mossgreen was invoiced for $A185,000 to Ken Pearson from Phoenix Auctions.

Complete pristine MUH sheets of 120, of each of those same 2 stamps are in the Royal Collection, and it is often mooted that to fund future collection purchases, a pair, or blocks, from there could be torn off and sold. Such Royal sales have occurred often in the past.

I bought the only Die Proof of either of these 1914 stamps that exists in private hands. Even the Royal Collection does not own one, NOR the Australia Post archives.

ACSC Cat $25,000, and with a clear Drury Certificate, it was the absolute bargain of the sale IMHO. Many of the later 1d KGV Proofs sold for over double that, and yet often exist in multiple copies.

Oddly, as it happens, I bumped into the same Michael Drury just Saturday at the Castlecrag shops, and he kindly insisted on buying me lunch, despite my protestations!

He is so active in stamps, your head spins. Michael's long and very humorous eulogy at Arthur's packed funeral was absolutely superlative. I took a (no flash) photo of that Eulogy here in the Gray funeral thread - www.tinyurl.com/ByeArthur

Glen
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by ebayer »

Global Administrator wrote:
Asked Leanne if she realised the much highlighted Norman Lindsay painting on the front cover of the Hooper Collection was actually NOT in that sale, and she at first politely seemed to be indicating I was nuts.

After a while, the penny dropped I think, that I was in fact correct, and a search of LINDSAY on their own website did not bring it up.

The tearooms hopefully will be evacuated this afternoon with a fire hose, so some real work can be done, and the website fixed. :lol: :lol: :lol:

Let's time how long it is before the army of Art Boffins get to work and fix this silly and totally misleading mess on their main page -
Image
https://www.mossgreen.com.au/content/forthcoming-auctions/
Glen - just noted days later, that catalogue cover is still featured on their main "Forthcoming" page, on the link you give, showing a major painting that is not in that sale. :shock:

https://www.mossgreen.com.au/content/forthcoming-auctions/

I get the feeling mossgreen is the kind of place anyone with an Arts Degree, of a certain faith, looking for a nice 9-5 no stress job for life, finds a very happy well-paid niche.

Overlooking it in the first place was pretty bad, but when it is reported to them from clients, and still nothing is done, many days later, smacks of total staff disinerest and sloppiness - to me anyway. The Head of Painting and Art probably draws $250,000 a year to get these very basic things right.

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by numisphil »

Glen - just noted days later, that catalogue cover is still featured on their main "Forthcoming" page, on the link you give, showing a major painting that is not in that sale.
I also noted that the 'Galanos Sale' at Mossgreen has a photo of the Galanos House on the front cover. Are you upset the house isn't included in the sale?

As for the Head of Painting being on a salary of $250k, that certainly is news.....especially to him

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

numisphil wrote:
I also noted that the 'Galanos Sale' at Mossgreen has a photo of the Galanos House on the front cover. Are you upset the house isn't included in the sale?
Tony, you headed up a very large stamp auction company with operations in NSW and Victoria (that later went into receivership last year, losing hapless stamp vendors $ millions, well after you parted ways, I mention for the record of course!) so surely you should champion ACCURACY in online Auction descriptions? Clearly not it seems. :?:

Most folks of average IQ understand this kind of mossgreen Auction highlights advertising, are not selling the house, just the art and furniture contents of the relevant homes -
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If the LOCATIONS and/or DATES of these mossgreen sales were wrong I'd be annoyed if I owned the auction, or ran the relevant Department, or turned up to bid. You, not so much it seems clear. :?:

That was my only point re the Lindsay sale. Wrong highlighted item, which does not exist in the sale despite it being front cover, and wrong Auction date for it, being still on their website. But you seem happy that kind of sloppiness and sheer unprofessional laziness is perfectly OK, and seem happy they have not bothered to rectify it, when clearly alerted by cashed up genuine BUYERS of same - is perfectly OK.

Which is quite possibly why you did not head the major stamp auction for very long Tony, with that kind of thought process. :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Allanswood »

numisphil wrote:
Glen - just noted days later, that catalogue cover is still featured on their main "Forthcoming" page, on the link you give, showing a major painting that is not in that sale.
I also noted that the 'Galanos Sale' at Mossgreen has a photo of the Galanos House on the front cover. Are you upset the house isn't included in the sale?

As for the Head of Painting being on a salary of $250k, that certainly is news.....especially to him

It clearly states that the collection is being sold, not the house. And aren't the contents being sold off at the house itself? So a perfectly relevant image then.

As for the Hooper collection it clearly shows a Lindsay painting ON THE FRONT COVER from the collection being offered and it clearly states date of the sale - however - the big but - it's NOT FOR SALE ON THAT DATE.

How many buyers are thinking, "well I'd better get my bid before the Auction 9 Oct" or will turn up on the night to find the painting they want is not there, because they (having not read the fine print, if they can find it) naturally assumed the center piece of the event is on the front cover?
Greg - Looking for Goulburn Australia Cancels and Grangemouth Scotland Cancels and Covers
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Spink »

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

Well done Tim - and welcome to stampboards! :mrgreen:

Selling an internationally renowned multi Large Gold Medal collection, of probably THE most sought after era in Commonwealth stamps right now - KGVI reign - from THE most collected Commonwealth country - is not exactly difficult, especially with very low estimates!

It is like offering one ounce gold bullion coins estimated at way under ‘melt’ value, or $US100 bills estimated at $US50 - pretty easy to sell at auction!

The prices Spink obtained may well have been FAR higher if you had bothered to advise this Australian market via ads in the vibrant collector press here, that there was actually an auction taking place. That thought may not have occurred to you?

Many pieces and lots in superb condition sold for a disappointing small fraction of catalogue, as all can see.

You will never know how much better prices a tiny bit of savvy marketing might have yielded. The family will never know. That boat has now sailed forever.

I repeat, and you misquote me - not just “Stamp News” - but indeed not an ad anywhere here that I saw in collector publications in this region, (and possibly the UK) and a press release issued globally just days before the sale, was, I repeat - sloppy and lazy and ineffectual - in my view. Clearly you do not agree - and we are all entitled to our views. 8)

You say - “we must be doing something right”. Well your claimed £414,990 invoices comes to well under £350,000 hammer prices it seems to me, rough figures. i.e. about $A595,000 hammer prices before the 20% Buyer Fee and taxes added etc.

In comparison with the $A7,150,000 that Shreves invoiced for Gray “Kangaroos”, and the $A3 million+ that mossgreen invoiced for the Gray “KGV” first sale alone, the way smaller Spink realisation does not convince me in any way, “we must be doing something right” as you assure us.

~$595,000 hammer for top shelf material, of a mega popular country, of truly global standing - very, very, many pieces of it totally unique, is not a result I’d be dancing in the streets about. :idea:

Both those firms had the professionalism and savvy, to cleverly pre-promote their Gray sales for months ahead, to the 1,000s of cashed up buyers around the globe Tim, not in the Spink “secret handshake, inner circle orbit” you appear to heavily rely upon. A message/lesson there perhaps?

As to the “Leather Look” heirloom grade catalogues that Arthur INSISTED upon, as he clearly told me and others, and Jack Gringlas (owner then of mossgreen) clearly confirms above, odd this was apparently all news to Spink, you tell us in writing?

Arthur told me the offers from Spink, Charles Shreve and mossgreen to offer the “KGV” were all enticing, strong, and all surprisingly similar. I’ll let others speculate whether that meant Arthur would have been happy with card covers if he chose Spink, as you intimate!

Press Releases cost you absolutely NOTHING, nor does savvy contact with stamp media globally, months ahead of the auction, attaching a few standout pieces in image form. Marketing #101, zero cost, and might well have garnered another £100,000+ in global returns for the family.

You have now joined stampboards at least. MILLIONS of page views each month, to a global market many times larger than your entire mailing list. Spink is invited to join other savvy auctions to promote their future sales here FREE to a global audience, with stamp collecting members in more than 150 different countries. Add a few relevant scans, and attract a stack of new names and new bidders. Others certainly do. :mrgreen:

If the only supportive comment you can offer re your KGVI sale is from an “un-named Australian Dealer” that says it all really. You can quote your Budgie too if you wish. :D

And one final point Tim - I received the Gray "KGVI" sale catalogue 2 days after the sale - great stuff. No-one even had the courtesy to drop me a quick email confirming it was posted after I needed to email for one. And yes, the Spink QE2 catalogue was "handed to me in Melbourne" - but only as I asked for it.

There was not a single word in the printed catalogue as who Arthur Gray was, his philatelic background, the number of Large Gold and Gold Medals this collection had been awarded globally, or even the many Philatelic awards bestowed on him. Disgraceful oversight in my personal view.

All in all, an opportunity lost really.

Glen Stephens
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by capetriangle »

Global Administrator wrote:
~$595,000 hammer for top shelf material, of a mega popular country, of truly global standing - very, very, many pieces of it totally unique, is not a result I’d be dancing in the streets about. :idea:
Tut tut Glen, you should know better than to qualify a superlative.

Kindest regards

Richard

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Global Administrator »

capetriangle wrote: Tut tut Glen, you should know better than to qualify a superlative.
Richard, shame on you - you live in the land not only of the annoyingly and hopelessly mangled spelling, (catalog, center, color, gray, jewerly, expertize etc, etc) but the nationwide mangled use of the word 'unique'. :lol: :lol: :lol:

If I see one more screening of 'Pawn Stars' where some money hungry dropkick wheels in something of which there are a THOUSAND examples extant, and they all blather about how "UNIQUE" it is ............. :roll:

You worked for Spink NY until recently - didn't they drum these loopy and meaningless terms into you? :mrgreen:

I used it to mean things of which NO other examples exist - of which there were truly many in this Gray KGVI collection. Which often sold for silly low sums.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by capetriangle »

Global Administrator wrote: I used it to mean things of which NO other examples exist - of which there were truly many in this Gray KGVI collection. Which often sold for silly low sums.
That certainly is the meaning of the word "unique."

Actually I have been laughing at the term since I was working for Stanley Gibbons in 1979 when I read someone else's description on a stock card as "very rare and unique."

Here in America the term "very unique" is endemic, particularly with television commentators. I have heard Tom Brokaw, Gayle King and even Savannah Guthrie (passed first in Arizona Bar Exam) all come out with it.

Well, as Churchill once said, "a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with."

Kindest regards

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by ebay_dealer »

I am always happy to pay an extra couple of per cent on the hammer price if there are a few "pretty young pouting fashionistas perched daintily on a podium". Eye candy and stamps....what could be better?
very friendly ebay seller and buyer

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

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ebay_dealer wrote:I am always happy to pay an extra couple of per cent on the hammer price if there are a few "pretty young pouting fashionistas perched daintily on a podium". Eye candy and stamps....what could be better?
Memo to self - some of these wacky stamp collectors will pay MORE if I pout and wear a Chanel Dress .................. 8)
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

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ebay_dealer wrote:I am always happy to pay an extra couple of per cent on the hammer price if there are a few "pretty young pouting fashionistas perched daintily on a podium". Eye candy and stamps....what could be better?
What could be better?

An auction house that used some brains and trimmed such insane costs, and worked within their means is what. :idea: :idea: :idea:

mossgreen Auctions is in Administration right now - largely due to silly thoughtless excesses like the above, that I pointed out would lead to disaster, unless they pulled their horns in. I have little doubt mossgreen vendors will lose money over this mess. :roll: :roll:

http://stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=80017
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by Temora22 »

I attended a Mossgreen philatelic auction earlier this year and also spent several hours at Mossgreen viewing lots on the day before the auction.

I didn't see any "young pouting fashionistas".

The members of the Mossgreen staff with whom I spoke or who I observed acted professionally, courteously and pleasantly. I will feel sorry for any of them who lose their jobs as a result of Mossgreen entering into voluntary administration.

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by GJ50 »

GJ50 wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:
For some very strange reason the Gray family then entrusted the Arthur Gray mega award winning ‘QE2’ and ‘KGVI’ collections to Spink in London. Huge error in my view, as Sterling crashed after Brexit.
Clash of personalities is your answer Glen.
In hindsight it was the best move made by the Gray family and its connections.
They are NOT a creditor of Mossgreen's 12M debts.

I feel sorry for those other vendors such as the late Hans von Strokirch, whose family were convinced to sell Danish material here and not in that part of europe.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

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GJ50 wrote:
In hindsight it was the best move made by the Gray family and its connections.
They are NOT a creditor of Mossgreen's 12M debts.
Well the Grays would have been paid in full MANY months back of course. And for a GREAT deal more than they saw from Spink.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

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Global Administrator wrote:
GJ50 wrote:
In hindsight it was the best move made by the Gray family and its connections.
They are NOT a creditor of Mossgreen's 12M debts.
Well the Grays would have been paid in full MANY months back of course. And for a GREAT deal more than they saw from Spink.
The last Spink Gray sale was only the end of September, and with Mossgreen owing 12M, I doubt many vendors from the last 3 months would have received their full payments.
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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by capetriangle »

GJ50 wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:
GJ50 wrote:
In hindsight it was the best move made by the Gray family and its connections.
They are NOT a creditor of Mossgreen's 12M debts.
Well the Grays would have been paid in full MANY months back of course. And for a GREAT deal more than they saw from Spink.
The last Spink Gray sale was only the end of September, and with Mossgreen owing 12M, I doubt many vendors from the last 3 months would have received their full payments.
Exactly!

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by deebee444 »

GJ50,

re. Hans von Strokirch,

I was following the sales online and was surprised at the extremely high realisations especially for the Danish West Indies and Iceland. I am sure the family would have been elated with the results at the time but doubt if that elation still exists.

It reminded me of the Status debacle where Alan Salisbury sold the hoard of De Salis ACT covers on behalf of the De Salis heirs.

In the last few Velvet sales there was a vast amount of Latvia stamps & covers from a deceased collector, I forget his name.

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by capetriangle »

I was following the sales online and was surprised at the extremely high realisations especially for the Danish West Indies and Iceland. I am sure the family would have been elated with the results at the time but doubt if that elation still exists.
Reminds me of one of the classical lines of malaise in the stamp business, as in, "You know things are bad when those that don't pay aren't buying."

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by deebee444 »

Richard,

they were buying and paying top prices. I presume the buyers have paid and the material is now in their collections in various Scandinavian countries.

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

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GJ50 wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:
GJ50 wrote:
In hindsight it was the best move made by the Gray family and its connections.
They are NOT a creditor of Mossgreen's 12M debts.
Well the Grays would have been paid in full MANY months back of course. And for a GREAT deal more than they saw from Spink.
The last Spink Gray sale was only the end of September, and with Mossgreen owing 12M, I doubt many vendors from the last 3 months would have received their full payments.
The Gray QE2 sale was APRIL 2017, so your point is lost on me. Are your imputing vendors at mossgreen in APRIL 2017 were not paid?

https://canadianstampnews.com/auction-preview-arthur-gray-co ... al-issues/

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Re: Changes at the very top at Mossgreen Auctions Melbourne

Post by GJ50 »

Global Administrator wrote:
GJ50 wrote:
Global Administrator wrote:
GJ50 wrote:
In hindsight it was the best move made by the Gray family and its connections.
They are NOT a creditor of Mossgreen's 12M debts.
Well the Grays would have been paid in full MANY months back of course. And for a GREAT deal more than they saw from Spink.
The last Spink Gray sale was only the end of September, and with Mossgreen owing 12M, I doubt many vendors from the last 3 months would have received their full payments.
The Gray QE2 sale was APRIL 2017, so your point is lost on me. Are your imputing vendors at mossgreen in APRIL 2017 were not paid?

https://canadianstampnews.com/auction-preview-arthur-gray-co ... al-issues/
Glen, there was a Gray KGVI sale on September 17, 2017.
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