--Memoir of an Art Dealer
Art collecting is a passionate activity that brings out the best and worst in human nature. The Emperor & the Motorcycle Mechanic is a collection of anecdotes derived from Sam Bernstein's 35 year career as a leading international Asian art dealer. The completed manuscript consists of 50,000 words over 85 chapters with 67 illustrations. The volume provides an insider's view of the art world, including stories about rare Asian artifacts, million dollar forgeries and some of the eccentric characters that inhabit an otherwise opaque and mysterious world. These vignettes include strippers, conmen, rabbis and royals, rock n' roll stars, and a naked man with a parrot.
"In my experience there are undiscovered treasures hidden all over the world, under beds, and in attics, in missing bank lockboxes and forgotten warehouses. And yet for every priceless artifact there are hundreds of fakes and forgeries waiting to fool an unsuspecting collector. In my book I tell the story of how a dusty lump of jade purchased for $30 in a Parisian antiques shop actually belonged to an emperor and went on to sell for a million dollars at auction." –Sam Bernstein