Art dealers regularly bid at auction in partnership with other art dealers. The law does not object to joint bidding provided that certain conditions are met. If they are not, the bidding arrangement can turn into an illegal auction ring. The risk if the bidding arrangement amounts to an auction ring is not simply pecuniary; parties bidding in concert may be prosecuted. The law in England and Wales is changing, potentially making it easier to prosecute illegal bidding practices. Traditionally,
Over a period of seven months, the Paris Court of Appeal has reached two different decisions over whether Christie’s France can collect from the buyer at auction an amount equal to the resale royalty, as opposed to charging the royalty to the seller. Now the dispute has been referred to the French Supreme Court, which is calling the Court of Justice of the European Union to the rescue. In March 2013, we reported on a judgment by the Paris Court
When, in 2007, Marguerite Hoffman, a prominent Dallas art collector, decided to sell a major painting by Mark Rothko (Untitled, 1961), she insisted on confidentiality. Her husband had died the year before. She did not want to draw attention to her finances. The painting was well known. So was the fact that the Hoffmans owned it. At the time of the sale, it was hanging on the walls of the Dallas Museum of Art, as part of an exhibition called
The discovery in a Munich flat of a hoard of over 1400 artworks acquired by Hildebrand Gurlitt in dubious circumstances during the Second World War has been making headline news. The current value of the collection of artworks has been estimated at over €1 billion and contains previously unknown works by Matisse, Chagall, Picasso and Renoir. Gurlitt, an art dealer and collector, allegedly assisted Hitler in pillaging art from Jews in Germany and other countries occupied by the Third Reich.