I was browsing an antique shop one afternoon and stopped to admire a bookcase. As I explored its features another person walked up and joined in conversation. As it turned out he was the owner of another shop and just happened to have a similar one  in his inventory. Looking at the price tag he fell into a monologue about pricing. As I discovered, he was also a frustrated ex-auctioneer. “Everybody else knew better than he the value of things,” he said sarcastically, and his conclusion to the matter was, ”Then let them sell it themselves!” On that unhappy note the conversation ended.

Later, as I was pondering this encounter it settled out uncommonly easily. Of course the owner of a piece has a higher valuation of the piece than the hired hand who sells it. His cost translates into a chunk of life determined by however long it took to earn the purchase price. And then there is the value added cost of all the memories  and other associations involved in the piece. Really! And what would a man take in exchange for his soul? How does a man redeem his time?

For the auctioneer it is only worth what the market will bear. His interest is to simply facilitate a quick sale, collect all fees and commissions, and leave. The piece cost him nothing.

Value is like that.

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