1998. He caused quite a stir. Pop culture celebrities are common at antiques/collectibles shows, and he did live right there in Miami. Dealers try to act calm and unimpressed. Beautiful people “dress down” at these events (like everyone), on the theory that if you appear too well-heeled, prices will be higher.
This means dealers must sometimes counter-access appearance—the scruffy old dude who looks like a transient might be an aging baby boomer rock star. After all, he did come up with $12 to enter.
Everyone recognized the dude. His body guard kept busy chatting up teenage girls. After the matinee idol spotted something he wanted, a personal assistant would do all the negotiating as he posed like a Greek god a comfortable distance away. Negotiating?! One would think someone who rakes in millions a film would be willing to pay full ticket.
An art glass dealer near my booth was a primary recipient of the star’s miserly desire. He bought a half dozen items, including a Tiffany lamp, for a total of $65,000. No money changed hands. The exuberant dealer marked the pieces “Sold” and was informed he would be paid and the merchandise picked up at the end of the show, three days hence.
The star and his entourage sauntered in for the final hours of the final day. My neighbor didn’t fare well. The assistant informed him that her employer had a change of heart and decided to “pass” on all the items he selected. End of story. The dealer took much of his best merchandise out of circulation for the show and went home with greatly reduced revenue for his effort.
“I always thought he was a lousy actor,” the dealer groused. “Now I know he’s a lousy human being, too.”
This is the same star who instructs all his household employees never to look directly into his eyes. He will be
reviled revealed below.
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