Since the skinner March 13, 2016 auction catalog went online and was mailed to subscribers RK has been privy to information that is somewhat troubling.
Surely not to us because we are not at all interested in anything on offer at this sale nor for the matter at any previous skinner sale since 2007, when we last purchased something in their saleroom.
However, we are sure many buyers have not heard this news nor will they even after we have made it public, as RK's readership does not include most of the people who buy the lower-middle to absolutely low-end goods skinner rug auctions successfully unload.
Since lawrence, aka larry, kearny has been in charge of the rug department we have heard, and also know from our own experience, he has been selling his own pieces in the sales he has organized.
This is really not news nor is it something we would even normally bother to mention.
But this sale, according to our sources who know for a fact the following is 100 percent true, the situation has gotten out of hand and a high percentage of the better lots on offer, totally about 50 as we have learned, belong to kearney. These include the cover lot and many pictured in the catalog, which BTW has very few pictures unlike the online catalog where every piece has one.
Whether he is consigning his own pieces in the sale with the knowledge of skinner's administration, or without their knowing by having someone else front the consigning, it still remains a gross violation of ethics and trust.
Is it illegal? No, in the state of Massuchettets it is legal for an auctioneer to sell merchandise he/she owns without noting this in the catalog. And michael grogan has been getting away with doing this for years, and RK has called him out for it.
And further in kearney's case, since he is not the auctioneer of record, skinner legally is, it further would exonerate him from having to legally make a declaration were it required.
But, and this is a big but, kearney is the expert for the sale and how can he possibly be honest about recommandations when the merchandise being sold is his? Same goes for sleezy michael grogan.
RugDUMB is full of non-transparency, back-door dealing and chicanery and although neither kearney, or grogan, can be legally charged with malfeasance they both are prime targets for accussations of ethical and moral turpitude.
What can be done?
Well, we think kearney should be encouraged to stand up before the sale starts and tell everyone in the audience which lots are his.
This is the least he could do since we know full well he will not withdraw any of them from the sale.