If a rare porcelain vessel belonged to the Qianlong emperor or a flawless diamond was worn around the neck of a duchess or a Rothko was beloved by a Rockefeller – those objects and others with fascinating histories of ownership are imbued with an incalculable allure beyond their intrinsic value. Provenance “is my favorite part,” says Frank Everett of Sotheby’s jewellery. “Who wore it, when did she wear it, how did she wear it, how often did she wear it. This is what we live for, to get the great stories.” Listen to our experts reflect on the interplay between a work’s provenance and the marketplace. Episode 4 ponders ineffable magic of a storied provenance.

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