This past month Chasing Hubert has yielded me not only a few lovely new acquisitions but a few new notions on greed as well. The dictionary defines greed as “excessive or rapacious desire, especially for wealth or possessions.” One of the seven deadly sins, greed has been known to drive people to act in unethical, immoral, or illegal ways on a grand scale. But greed can rear its ugly head in small ways as well. Purchasing Huberts has always been affordable – in the world of art Hubert’s work does not command high prices – but lately I’ve noticed that his etchings range in price anywhere from literally a few cents to a great deal of money. Now, I realize that sellers will charge as much as people are willing to pay – it’s the demand-versus-supply principle. I also realize that this blog pretty much advertises my interest in these etchings which places me in the assumed willing to pay category. However, when I see Huberts listed at ridiculously exorbitant prices I can’t help but wonder if certain sellers view me as an easy target, one who would be desperate enough to purchase them at any cost. My passion for Hubert while very strong does have its limits! I’m afraid greed doesn’t pay, even relative to Hubert.
On the flip side, I suppose I can be accused of being greedy in my obsessive hunt for Hubert but I prefer to to believe that the motive behind my “rapacious desire” for Hubert’s etchings is for the greater good, to benefit not only myself but all of Hubert’s collectors out there seeking answers. Okay, maybe that sounds like a pontification but I do believe in sharing any inside information that comes my way. And so apparently do certain other Hubert collectors. Recently one in particular very generously and unselfishly emailed me to alert me about a particular etching that she owned which I admired that had popped up for sale (priced appropriately, I might add.) Thanks, Susan, for demonstrating what American writer Marc Estrain once succinctly stated “Kindness trumps greed: it asks for sharing.”