Home for the holidays: Hope for return of stolen Caravaggio in time for Christmas

New evidence has emerged, which suggests a missing Nativity masterpiece by Caravaggio could soon be returning to Sicily. Theories abound as to the disappearance of ‘Nativity With Saints Lawrence and Francis’ (1609) from the Oratory of San Lorenzo in Palermo in 1969. The latest version of the story was announced by Rosy Bindi, president of Italy’s parliamentary Antimafia Commission earlier this year. According to investigators, testimony from a member of Sicilian criminal organisation, Cosa Nostra, indicates the stolen masterpiece was taken to an art dealer in Switzerland who sold it off in pieces. They have followed this lead to eastern Europe and now believe they can recover the Nativity soon. 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