Rare Book Monthly

Articles - December - 2013 Issue

The Curator's Eye – a Program Designed to Reach High-End Buyers

E9a655a2-c3c2-48b9-be91-f7e419abd594

The Curator's Eye section on Books, Manuscripts, and Maps.

The Curator's Eye, a company with a service designed to bring dealers and high-end buyers together, recently released an interview they conducted with noted autograph and manuscript seller Claudia Strauss-Schulson of Schulson Autographs. Naturally, such an interview would not fall into the category of objective journalism, but that doesn't make the company and its marketing plan any less interesting. We followed up with Ms. Strauss-Schulson and she reconfirmed the useful role of the site to her in generating new customers.

 

The Curator's Eye can be found online, but Editor in Chief Leah Tharpe is quick to point out that “The Curator's Eye is not a website, rather an extremely efficient marketing service tailored to the highest-end art dealer.” In other words, while the firm has a website where you can view art (and “books, maps and manuscripts” is one of its categories of art), it is nothing like the large book listing sites most booksellers employ. The Curator's Eye is geared toward building long-term relationships rather than short-term sales. As Ms. Tharpe says, “The Curator's Eye is a client generation service providing additional client analytics. No other business does this for art dealers.”

 

The website may be the hub through which clients flow, but the Curator's Eye aggressively seeks new participants elsewhere. Ms. Tharpe explains, “The Curator's Eye places over 10,000,000 individual ad impressions each month with its highly targeted advertisements on such websites as The New York Times, Artfact, Forbes, The Art Newspaper, The Independent (a UK paper), and The LA Times. We reach between 500,000 and 1,000,000 people each month with these ads.”

 

When you reach the Curator's Eye website, you will find artworks broken down by category, including books, maps and manuscripts, as mentioned before. That will take you to a page of images of items being offered, eight at a time, with an arrow to scroll forward to see more. Clicking on the image will bring you more information. However, clicking on links to buy or inquire will not immediately enable you to make a purchase, nor take you to the dealer. For that, you must be logged in, and to log in, naturally enough, you need to sign up. That enables The Curator's Eye to learn more about you first.

 

That is where the marketing strategy really clicks in. They can employ this information to determine who in their database of names are likely to be good prospects for a particular participant in their program. The odds that a potential client sees the particular autographed piece that is of interest may not be great, but The Curator's Eye may be able to locate people who are interested in autographed documents, ones to whom Ms. Strauss-Schulson can make the full array of her inventory available. In this way, The Curator's Eye is sort of the anti-listing site. Those sites are designed to make a quick sale, often to an anonymous person. This marketing strategy is designed to create a long-term relationship with a potential long-term buyer, and generally one with sufficient income to buy at a high level.

 

Ms. Tharpe reports that registrants on their site have an average net worth of $2 million, and an average income of $100,000. The top 10% have an average net worth of almost $20 million and income of over $1 million. Obviously, these are the most desirable people to reach if you are selling collectible, rather than just used books, but they are very hard to find. That is the role that The Curator's Eye takes on – advertising to the millions to find the select few who are potential long-term lucrative clients and forward those prospects on to their participants.

 

In the interview released by The Curator's Eye, Claudia Strauss-Schulson was quoted as saying, “It’s a marketing tool that attracts a new audience. I especially like - and was surprised by - the number of international viewers and the interest in our material from other points of the world we have not reached. I like that our autographs and manuscripts are viewed in the context of fine art and antiques which broadens the market for historical documents.” Ms. Strauss-Schulson confirmed to us that while The Curator's Eye has not made direct sales like a listing site, it has been useful for her business in lead generation. She explained, “It has worked for me in this way: someone sees a small sample of material on The Curator's Eye, joins the mailing for future catalogs and purchases something other than what they saw on the site.” It is not Schulson Autographs' primary means of selling material, but is another tool in the arsenal for reaching customers in a time when many dealers are struggling to find new prospects. This is not likely to be a useful vehicle for dealers selling inexpensive material, but for those who need a high income audience to succeed, it may be worth giving a try.

 

For those interested in learning more about The Curator's Eye, they can be found online at www.curatorseye.com.

 

Schulson Autographs may be found online at www.schulsonautographs.com.

Rare Book Monthly

  • <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Charles Darwin on sexuality and the transmission of hereditary characteristics: Autograph Letter Signed to Lawson Tait. Down, 17 January [1877].
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> MILTON, JOHN. <i>Paradise Lost. A Poem written in ten books.</i> London: 1667. A very rare example with the contemporary binding untouched and with a 1667 title page.
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> Hamilton secures the ratification of the Constitution: <i>The Debates and Proceedings of the Convention of the State of New-York, assembled at Poughkeespsie, on the 17th June, 1788.</i>
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> The social contract “Man is born free, and everywhere he is in chains”: ROUSSEAU, JEAN-JACQUES. <i>Principes du Droit Politique [Du Contract Social]</i>. Amsterdam: Michel Rey, 1762
    <b>19th Century Shop:</b> “The first English textbook on geometrical land-measurement and surveying”: BENESE, RICHARD. <i>This Boke Sheweth the Maner of Measurynge All Maner of Lande…</i>
  • <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>Aurora Australis.</i> Printed at the sign of 'The Penguins'; East Antarctica, 1908. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Shackleton, Ernest. <i>South Polar Times.</i> 1st edition, limited issue. from the library of Michael Barne. $20,000 to $30,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> General Washington's <i>Proceedings of a General Court Martial... of Major General Lee.</i> Philiadelphia, 1778. 100 copies printed for Congress. BOUND WITH: ...Court Martial... of St Clair and ...Schuyler. $25,000 to $35,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>The Voice of the People.</i> Boston, 1754. Rare pamphlet on the Excise Tax. Nathaniel Sparhawk's copy. $4,000 to $6,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Autograph Letter Signed ("S.L. Clemens"), offering extensive hard-earned advice on writing, 5 pp, 1881. $30,000 to $50,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> After Fra Egnazio Danti. <i>L'Ultime Parti not:e nel Indie Occid:ntli" [The last known parts of the Western Indies].</i> Painted Map of California, Western Mexico, and Japan. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Ptolemaeus, Claudius. <i>Geographie opus nouissima...</i> 1513. The most important edition of Ptolemy, containing the Admiral's Map. $250,000 to $350,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> De Arellano, Don Alonso. Manuscript, his <i>"Relación mui singular y circunstanciada... Capitán del Patax San Lucas,"</i> manuscript copy from the Sir Thomas Phillips collection. $50,000 to $80,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Purchas, Samuel. <i>Purchas his Pilgrimes.</i> First edition. With John Simth's engraved map of Virginia. $70,000 to $100,000
    <b>Bonhams: Exploration and Travel, Featuring Americana, Part I. September 25, 2018</b>
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> Lewis, Meriwether. Contemporary manuscript true copy of his final power of attorney, 1809. $8,000 to $12,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>A New Method of Macarony Making, as Practiced at Boston in North America.</i> Mezzotint. London, 1774. $5,000 to $7,000
    <b>Bonhams, Sep. 25:</b> <i>Scientific Base Ball Pitching: A Treatise on the Pitcher, Pitching, Origin and Philosophy of the Curve.</i> Chicago, 1897. $2,000 to $3,000
  • <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Franklin H. Brown, <i>State Sovereignty, National Union,</i> Chicago, 1860. $6,000 to $9,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Thomas Paine, <i>The American Crisis,</i> Fishkill, NY, December 1776. $25,000 to $35,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b><br>The Aitken Bible, Philadelphia, 1781. $20,000 to $30,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francisco Loubayssin de Lamarca, probable first edition of the first novel set in the Spanish New World, Paris, 1617. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Juan de la Anunciación, <i>Sermonario en lengua mexicana,</i> first edition, first book of sermons in Nahuatl, Mexico, 1577. $30,000 to $40,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Maturino Gilberti, <i>Thesoro spiritual en lengua de Mechuacá,</i> first edition, Mexico, 1558. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Commission of William O. Stoddard as secretary to the president, signed by Lincoln, Washington, 1861. $7,000 to $10,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> <i>Clay and Frelinghuysen,</i> flag banner, circa 1844. $8,000 to $12,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Daguerreotype of a man believed to be Frederick Granger Williams Smith, son of Joseph Smith, circa late 1850s. $10,000 to $15,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> John C. Wolfe, <i>Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,</i> oil on board in period wooden frame, circa 1860s. $12,000 to $18,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Francis W. Winton, manuscript on pow-wows with indigenous Canadians, 1881. $15,000 to $25,000.
    <b>Swann Auction Galleries Sep 27:</b> Family letters from two young daguerreotype artists, 1826-79. $10,000 to $15,000.

Article Search

Archived Articles

Ask Questions