Friday, April 18, 2008

Inside Art (Law)

Lots of art law in Carol Vogel's "Inside Art" column in today's New York Times.

First, she writes about "the tumultuous saga of the jeweler Ralph O. Esmerian — who owes some $187 million to Merrill Lynch, $11.5 million to Sotheby’s and $7.5 million to Christie’s" and is "is scheduled to pay down a chunk of his Sotheby’s debt" when it sells his version of Edward Hicks's "Peaceable Kingdom" at auction next month. For background, see here and here.

She also covers Randolph College's upcoming sale of four paintings, one of which, coincidentally, happens to be another version of Hicks's "Peaceable Kingdom." She mentions the ongoing fight over the $500,000 bond the opponents of the sale posted. Their lawyer claims the school is not entitled to any part of the bond: "There are no damages, because they still have the art." The school counters that the originally scheduled sale "would have provided an estimated $50 million. 'Since we were prevented from selling the art in November, we have been missing the interest on that money every day.'"