Imagine Owning the Country's Largest Private Historical Archive of 4.5 Million Photos, Drawings and Engravings and 640,000 High-Def Digitized Images With a Substantial ROI

'Priam redeems the dead body of Hector,' 1775.

​​​Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC has announced the sale of the historical D. Jay Culver collection, valued at $163.2 million and offered at $15 million, with the owner considering payment in stocks from publicly traded companies. Last purchased in 2006 by its current owner, who understands the monetary value and impact of the cultural find to museums, historians, institutions and investors but wants to pass the treasure trove on because of his advancing age.  

“We have never seen such a significant archive in one place for such a reasonable price and with so many financial and philanthropic opportunities,” said Michael Simon, Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC.

This unique collection, including more than 4.5 million photographs, plates, line drawings, prints, engravings, playbills and other historical art, delivers a solid opportunity for substantial estimated return on investment. For example, the value of less than one percent of the collection exceeds the asking price of $15 million.

Several museums also have expressed an interest in various parts of the collection, providing the potential for a sizable social return on investment. Additionally, the 640,000 high-definition digital images are ready to be turned into an online business, and the new owner will be able to utilize the fair market value of the collection for a tax credit. 

The collection was assessed in August by a top fine art photography appraiser, who identified a retail value of $99.2 million. In addition, the 640,000 high-resolution digitized images were professionally estimated to be worth $100 each, bringing the total value to $163.2 million.

This archive spans nearly every era of world history from the 1600s to the 1900s, and today would rival the Getty collection. Culver amassed the collection from 1926 until his death in 1968.

Among other items, he acquired the largest assortment of movie stills from the 1900s to the 1930s by White Studios; the files of pioneer news photographers Edwin Levick and George Grantham Bain; opera pictures by the Mets photographer Herman Mishkin; photos from the Flo Ziegfeld collection on the performing arts; and works by Emmons, Weegee, Hamilton Wright and A. Audrey Bodine. In 1948, the Library of Congress purchased 1,600 photographic prints from his collection.

The digitized photographs are high-resolution (more than 300 dpi) TIF files of the front and back of each photograph, with a corresponding thumbnail image for visual cataloging.

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Source: Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC

Categories: Finance, Business Technology

Tags: Culver Collection, D. Jay Culver, drawings, engravings, Herman Mishkin, Largest Private Historical archive, Michael Simon

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Artifact Brokerage Firm LLC is the brokerage firm representing the sale of the D. Jay Culver collection.