« New York City Auctions March 17–23 | Main | Coming up this weekend: The Pier Show inaugurates a pink tag sale »

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


That's life. If Mr. Ogunsanya wanted to, he could have consigned it to an auction as well. He was satisfied (probably elated) with the price he got before he found out the value.

A dealer spends years gaining the education necessary to find items s/he can make a couple of dollars on. The dealer spends years and many thousands of dollars "paying the dues" in research materials, buying the many mistakes that a dealer makes in learning the trade. You don't hear dealers complaining to judges when they buy something for twice the price that it is worth. They write it off to experience and try to get what they can out of it.

Mr. Ogunsanya had an obligation to learn about what he had prior to selling it. It is the price of admission.



Well, tough. What ever happened to the seller knowing about his product. If this case were ever to be found in favor of the seller, there would be no end to the law suits.


That isthe nature of the beast. I sold a photo by Margaret Bourke White tor 350.00 and the buyer sold it for 36,000.00. I made my profit and people came for years to see what else I did not know.


This one the dealer lost. He lives in New York and could have waltzed into any of the great auction houses and the knowledgeable staff would have helped him. He may win the next one, however. It's the nature of the business.

Tom Curran

Langmuir may not be legally obligated to pay more, and in fact, offering far more initially to Ogunsanya might have killed the deal. But the assumptions that Langmuir and Ogunsanya are somehow peer 'dealers' are dead wrong. Langmuir, an Arbus specialist, did know what the photographs were actually worth and can happily 'waltz' into the large auction houses. Ogunsanya, an amateur by any fair comparison, is handicapped upfront and then it turns out that he's Nigerian. How many of us would open his email attachments?
Langmuir should slap a generous bonus into Bayo's hands post-auction. That's not unheard of in the trade and would end the court wrangling.

George Autrage

Bayo Ogunsanya has been a rare book, art & PHOTO dealer for nearly the last 15 years.
He is very active on E-bay with over 1000 transactions and has a very high rate of NEGATIVE feedback.
Mr. Langmuir trading as bookmark6 has 3000 transactions with 100% positive feedback. I seriously doubt Mr. Langmuir was an Arbus "expert" as another on this page claims. In fact I know him to be almost exclusively interested in African Ameican history.
Many colleagues in the New York area, as well as California, have been subject to Ogunsanya's immoral style of business and conduct over the years.
There is circulating news of one case where Mr. Ogunsanya defrauded a dealer of over $400,000 having sold him a great lot of counterfeit material. Another New Yorker apparently had him jailed overnight.
He claims to be from the Royal Nigerian Family so that might explain why his checks have frequently been returned NSF.
If the facts,courtesy of Mr. Ogunsanya through the tabloids, are 10% of what is represented I would be surprised.
Ironically a case of "The Pot Calling the Kettle Black".
For you young Americans look it up.

The last comment really has me wondering. Are folks just that racist. Obviously this is a friend of Mr. Langmuir who feels it is his right to malign Mr. Ogunsanya, whose Nigerian nationality should not be a factor in the issue of whether he was cheated. If that is the case, I would question why Mr. Langmuir, who is white, finds it necessary to capitalize on the history of African-Americans, but I will not. The issue is that Mr. Lamgmuir stated that if the photos turned out to be valuable he would compensate Mr. Ogunsanya. If he had not stated this, there would be no issue.


The news accounts on this story are conflicting–for example, one story said that Ogunsanya was the African-Americana collector, another pegged the collector as Langmuir. Perhaps they both are? So then you have to ask, is it true that Langmuir said he would share the proceeds? Or is Ogunsanya just saying that?

Further to my last post, if Mr. Ogunsanya had cheated someone out of $400,000 I doubt he would be pursuing Mr. Langmuir. Wouldn't he have just retired? Wouldn't you?

It is my understanding that Langmuir bought the photos at two different times, a couple of months apart from Ogunsanya. He found Arbus's name and phone number in some of the ephemera he bought with the first load, and now knowing that there was a connection took the photos to the curator of photography at the Metropolitan Museum who confirmed the treasures. He then hounded Ogunsanya to sell him the remainder of the lot when he found out that there were more, without disclosing that he had found out that they were by Diane Arbus. When he bought that second load he falsely presented himself as ignorant to what they were, and with the seller a bit reluctant, I understand that he promised to give a little more money later, if they turn out to be more pricey as "old circus photos." He never had the decency to admit that he now knew for sure that they were by Arbus. This is what the suit by the plaintive is about.

Llorens apparently has a full time job as a "Reader and Advisor". Psychic to the Arts!!! Which is STAR spelled inside out.

This is really the way it happened. I was there.
The boy walked in for a palm reading and the fortune teller who "knows all and sees all" looks at the boys hand and says "Yes, yes. I see... " That will be ten dollars.
The boy feels cheated but reaches into his pocket to pay and the
ALL KNOWING ONE says...... "And 90 dollars more to take off the curse"....!!!!!

Enough already.


Thanks for all the comments, and I welcome more. It's an interesting story and it's interesting to see how everyone feels about it. I tried to contact Langmuir himself, using his supposed user name on eBay, but perhaps understandably, with a pending lawsuit, he didn't respond.

There are many stories like this in the trade--just recently, a young man in London bought a painting from a shop dealer, with the idea that it was worth more than its price, and he was right, it turned out to be an old master (or something, sorry, I don't have the story in front of me). I didn't hear of the dealer asking for a share of the new, elevated price.

I think the point of the post above (the "psychic" post) is that none of us really know what was said in the transaction, unless we were a fly on the wall . . . or unless one of these anonymous posters is Langmuir or Ogunsanya ... gentlemen? Are you out there? ; )


I have known Bob Langmuir for many years and he is a very ethical business man.

I am familiar with Mr Ogunsanya reputation in the rare book field and it is shady.
I have dealt with him on ebay and had a hard time with him and reported him to ebay as a dishonest dealer


I have known Bayo & done business with him for many years. I do not know Mr. Langmuir.

My understanding is that Bayo is claiming he
was defrauded out of the second group of photographs sold, not the 1st. It is normal practice for many collectors/dealers including Bayo to quickly recoup their cost by selling a portion of a large purchase, keeping the remainder, frequently the best ideas for their own collection or for further research & sale at higher prices. Bayo, who collects african americana, would likely be reluctant to sell an entire group of possibly important african american items.

A number of times in the past I have convinced Bayo to sell me items he either did not want to sell or did not want to sell at a price I could pay by agreeing to give him a % of the ultimate profit, if any. These agreements were never written. I have always paid the agreed % owed.

So, IMO, Bayo's story is not an unusual way for him to do business & could be true.

If you know Bayo and have done business with him, then you must know his reputation for legerdemain.
The truth will set you free. Up to now your imprisoned in a castle of mirrors due south of Fantasyland.

Mr. Bayo reputation in the collector's field is very questionable...Integrity is not one of his strong qualities....always looking for a fash buck ...not in a honest way. His performance at the strand book store was example of his legerdemain and narcisstic ways.


Let it be known that Bayo Ogunsanya is the biggest crook and thief known to humanity.Somebody made reference to a fellow dealer who was sold over $400,000 worth of bogus black music memorabilia on an earlier post.Well that person is me! Bayo you are a piece of garbage and you're going to learn that karma's a bitch!This man is a crook!I'm wondering if anyone else out there has had similar experiences with this horrible human being.I would gladly testify against this guy.He needs to be put away by our justice system!


Thanks for your courage in telling it like it is. Maybe LM will chime in too.
Every day I seem to add a new name to Bayo's "de-frauded list". On Saturday I picked up 2 more New Yorkers.
Outrageous that petty criminals get away with it. Most people seem to consider getting taken for under a thousand bucks the cost of doing business, although several have offered to be witnesses in Langmuir's defense against Bayo---- A highly respectable group of booksellers they are too.
The police seem only interested if there is conspiracy involved.
Such was the case with one woman that I know who pursued her grievance and had Bayo jailed overnite. He was doing "business" as Richard Bailey then.
Ogunsanya is married I heard. What must his wife think? She apparently has a big job in NYC government. Is it possible she doesn't know? Maybe she does but doesn't care?
Boy oh Boy Bayo
Anybody out there have any other Bayo con-job stories?

Thanks for sharing

A Friend of the Family

All these blogs mean nothing. I am getting tired of this smear campaign against Bayo. Mr. Langmuir has quite a reputation himself. Everyone should take time to read his book, "Huberts Freaks". The book tells the whole story on how he conned this man. The book is quite amusing.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search Here Be Old Things

  • WWW


  • kriserts (at) gmail (dot) com