Thursday, 19 December 2013

New York court decides that sellers at auction can remain anonymous

The Art Dossier is reporting: New York court decides that sellers at auction can remain anonymous On Tuesday New York’s Court of Appeals handed down a verdict that reversed an earlier decision in a case which would have meant an end to the practice of auctioneers in the state keeping sellers’ names anonymous. Obviously antiquities dealers will be interested in this development, as the anonymous "property of a collector" is one of the key tactics used to avoid saying where stuff came from.
 In an October 2012 decision that came in a dispute over the sale of a 19th-century Russian silver-and-enamel box, a four-judge panel in the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court ruled that state law required that buyers be allowed to know the names of sellers in post-auction paperwork for the deal to become binding.
The case was reviewed and it was decided unanimously that the auctioneer was acting as the seller’s agent, which meant that the absence of the name of the previous owner was not a hindrance to a binding deal in the state of New York. More in the New York Times.

UPDATE 20th Dec 2013:
Meanwhile those in the trade single-mindedly continue to pretend they do not understand why the no-questions-asked trading of antiquities is a problem. They demand "transparency" from others but consistently refuse to see the need for it in the dugup antiquities market. There really is no point in discussing things with such people.

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