Freelance Historian
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Posts Tagged ‘paintings’

CNet Founder Sued by Sotheby’s

Posted in Old Stuff in the News  by Steven on September 14th, 2008

Edward Hicks’ Peaceable Kingdom with the Leopard of Serenity” set a world record for Americana folk art as well as a record for the artist’s works when it sold this May in a Sotheby’s auction for $9.6 million. Now, the buyer of this and two other paintings in the same sale, Internet millionaire and CNet founder Halsey Minor is being sued by Sotheby’s for non-payment.

The suit, filed September 2 in federal court in New York City, asks for the $13.8 million owed for the three paintings (Peaceable Kingdom, plus Andy Warhol’s Diamond Dust Shoes and Childe Hassam’s Paris, Winter Days), plus $3 million in late fees, interest and damages.  Standard practice at Sotheby’s is immediate payment after the auction, but had broken their usual policy and offered Minor 90-day payment terms when Minor told them that he could not pay until he received money he was owed by third parties.

Sotheby’s spokesman Diane Phillips said “It is highly unusual for us to sue a client. We do not like to sue our clients, but Mr. Minor left us with no choice.” Minor, who previously claimed that he did not have the funds to pay, now claims that Sotheby’s did not disclose that they company had a financial stake in Peaceable Kingdom, whose owner had pledged the painting to Sotheby’s as collateral for a loan. Sotheby’s denies the charges, and notes that Minor had said nothing of the sort to Sotheby’s until he found out he was about to be sued by the prestigious auction house.

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