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What is the right thing to do?

Posted Saturday, June 7, 2008, at 12:37 PM

There are all kinds of stories out there surrounding the trading platform eBay. One fellow was selling a 500 year old sword because his wife could not find a place for it. In the process it was found by a historical group that contacted him about the significance of the sword and he gave it to the historical society. No mention if he was reimbursed.

The next story was about a gold plated drum that a fellow won in a contest back in 1971. It was lent to a "fellow musician" in 1996 and came up missing after that. He says he filed a missing property report but nothing ever came of it until he saw it on eBay.

There are more details in this story http://www.venturacountystar.com:80/news... such as a chain of ownership going back several steps. The current person possessing it bought it for $1500 and was selling it for $2556. When contacted by the original owner he agreed to sell it to him for his cost, but the original guy says no way, he wants it free.

Note in the article that the "original" police report could not be found, so one issued recently is being referenced. This could mean that there never was a report filed since 1996 is not that long ago. So did the guy maybe sell it to the "fellow musician" and he had a change of heart or ???

What do you think is the right thing to do?

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Find the "friend" and see if he sold the drums without clear title.

Did the original owner collect insurance on the loss?

If so,the people who issued the policy would have to be reimbursed.

This item would have an easier provenance than most pieces.

Had I been Stewart,I'd have tried to find Proctor,the book author,etc. to get a little history lesson I could put on display with my merchandise.

Proctor could pay what he would have for any other vintage drum he liked OR get it free and offer this fledgling businessman a photo shoot,jam session or other promotion with the reunited pair.

But,that supposes that neither man comes up a loser financially,both have acted in good faith and both would act with some maturity and focus on their common interest in good drums and good music.

There may have been too many bitter words said to let that happen now.

-- Posted by quantumcat on Sat, Jun 7, 2008, at 5:05 PM

That is a neat idea, make a promotion our of it. If he is a quality musician and had a few friends to help, they should easily be able to make it a win/win.

Great thinking! IF they were in this area, I would like to get involved in that project. Super!

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 8, 2008, at 9:44 AM

Boy, if I could type, I would be dangerous. The spell checker can't help me if I botch the word with another real word.

-- Posted by stevemills on Sun, Jun 8, 2008, at 9:47 AM

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Steve Mills and his wife have one daughter. They previously owned two coffee/ice cream shops, currently operate an internet sales company and teach classes, but his primary job involves the paper industry worldwide. Hobbies and interests lie in gardening, photography, recorded music and of course, their pets.