Controversy over Richter catalogue raisonné

Gerhard Richter has raised an interesting conundrum for collectors and lawyers alike. The well-respected artist has a reputation for a rigorous control of his oeuvre, and has one of the most thorough and comprehensive catalogue raisonné of any artist, living or dead. (Much of this information, which includes a photograph of each work, alongside details of its provenance, exhibition and literature history is available to view online, although the website issues a disclaimer that it is not to be treated as a catalogue raisonné, and therefore ‘may not be relied upon as constituting a representation or warranty that such work is or is not an authentic work of Gerhard Richter’). Continue reading

Practical tips to sellers when consigning items to an auction house

Lessons learned from the case of Thwaytes v Sotheby’s

In 2006 Mr Thwaytes consigned a painting, the Cardsharps, to Sotheby’s for further investigation. Sotheby’s advised it was a good 17th Century copy of the original by Caravaggio and the painting was sold at auction for a hammer price of £42,000 to a leading Caravaggio scholar, Sir Denis Mahon, who later announced that he and others believed it to be by Caravaggio, and therefore worth far more. Continue reading