In Jim Cook's Archive


A tidal wave of inflation lurks offshore.  You can see it in the price of certain assets.  I’m a collector so I pay attention to the price of art and collectibles.  A Norman Rockwell painting that appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post just sold for $46 million.  The previous record for a Rockwell was $16 million. Two movie producers, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg, own the best Rockwell collection so they probably crossed swords on this painting.

Sports memorabilia has gone stratospheric.  A Mickey Mantle Rookie baseball card recently brought $260,000.  I own Babe Ruth’s baseball bat that he used to hit his 52nd home run in 1921.  I recently got a call from an auction house that offered me a six figure amount.  When I turned it down they basically asked me to name my price.    Now I’m thinking seven figures.

I’m friends with Dan Morphy, the president of Morphy Auctions in Denver, Pennsylvania.  Recently he had an auction of toy robots that were made in Japan in the 1950’s.  Many of them sold between $25,000 and $40,000.  A few years ago you could have bought one for less than $1,000.  In Morphy’s recent advertising auction, a major Arab buyer drove prices into orbit.  Wealthy buyers fought over a Buckeye Root Beer dispenser that finished at $114,000.

I was interested in a 1930’s Whistle orange soda cardboard advertising sign that was estimated at $1,500 to $2,500.  It was a cute sign with three little kids on it.  I had a friend in attendance so I told him to bid up to $6,500 so we would be sure to get it. It didn’t work out that way.  The sign sold for $38,400.

Art and collector items are going through the roof.  I’ve never seen anything like it. Old time collectors are in shock and awe.  Frankly, I suspect something like this is coming to the price of everything.  That’s why I’m glad I own silver.  It will be one of the best things to own when the tidal wave of inflation ultimately hits.

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