Treasure hunters #01

We are starting a series about treasure hunters in the modern world, people who find treasure in plain site and re sell it, The arbitrage of things (Arbitrage) simultaneous purchase and sale of the same or similar asset in different markets in order to profit from tiny differences in the asset’s.

Andrew Brudz:

“A friend came over to my house during the pandemic and asked me if I had started collecting parrots and I was kind of surprised and said no ……. Why do you ask 

Maybe I missed traveling and especially traveling to Mexico. Perhaps I thought I was going to capture all these exotic birds as a way of recapturing the experience of traveling, of being free.  So my best friend Gayna created online vintage shop etsy @ArchipelagoFinds & @Archipelago

I guess I’ve always been a bit of a collector – when I was a kid I obsessively cataloged and numbered my collection of Smurfs.

Once I found a painting and absolutely fell in love with it. It was this gorgeous woman with a whale tooth necklace. It looks like she’d been painted by candlelight, it was moody and atmospheric.

Painted by an artist named Fred Whippy who was from Fiji and worked predominantly in the 60s and 70s. He was a bit of a protege as a teenager and was able to travel to America for his first exhibition in 1970s. 

I love this piece so much that I thought I had overpriced it so that nobody would buy it, and I would just get to keep it forever and say, “Well I tried to sell it and nobody wants it.” I also hoped that it would somehow make its way back to Fiji one day.

I actually found many of Fred Whippy’s relatives. They were happy to see it, and said, “Oh yeah, that’s Uncle Fred,” but none of them seem really interested in bringing it back to where it came from. (He passed away a couple of years ago.) 

But one day, I was contacted by a couple who own a hotel in Fiji. They were decorating the space with artwork by Fijian artists, and they really loved this piece. So, I boxed it up and shipped it off with some reluctance and regret. It was a beautiful piece and, you know, the money they paid is obviously long spent. A part of me still wishes I had that painting. 

I bought it for $40.00 and sold it for $400.00. I wish I had never sold it.”