INSANITY! LONDON COURT APPROVES ART FRAUD!-Sotheby’s WINS Caravaggio-who got paid off?


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Caravaggio’s The CardSharps

Lancelot William Thwaytes inherited The Cardsharps, an apparent copy by one of Caravaggio’s anonymous followers, from a cousin. The family had purchased the work for a minimal sum in 1962. When Thwaytes consigned the painting to Sotheby’s London in 2006, it sold for £42,000 ($63,700) with the anonymous attribution.

After the 2006 sale, however, the new owner Orietta Adam, cleaned and restored the piece. A year later, her partner, Denis Mahon, the world’s foremost expert on the artist (who was instrumental in identifying the The Taking of Christ, the titular lost Caravaggio of the 2005 non-fiction book The Lost Painting), proudly unveiled the work at his 97th birthday party, proclaiming it a bonafide Caravaggio dating to 1595 and worth £10 million ($15.8 million).

Thwaytes was understandably upset to see the family heirloom he had recently unloaded for a relative pittance being paraded about as a priceless masterpiece, and sued Sotheby’s, accusing them of failing to do their due diligence in attributing the painting. He had sought the auction house’s input before putting the piece up for sale, and accused them of providing “negligent” advice.

Sotheby’s defended its authentication of the painting, citing the opinions of its own specialists, as well as leading experts. Ultimately, the London High Court judge found that the auction house was not unjustified in its belief that the painting’s quality “was not sufficiently high to indicate that it might be by Caravaggio.” Sotheby’s was “entitled to rely on the connoisseurship and expertise of their specialists,” who were “highly qualified and examined the painting thoroughly.”

Since Mahon died in 2011, The Cardsharps has been on loan to London’s Museum of the Order of St. John at Clerkenwell, where it is insured for £10 million. The general consensus is that Caravaggio’s original copy of the painting belongs to the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas. The Cardsharps and The Taking of Christ are not the only lost paintings by the artist that have been rediscovered in recent years: Caravaggio’s original copy of Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy turned up last year in Europe (see Caravaggio’s Mary Magdalene Found in Private Collection).

Following the ruling, a Sotheby’s spokesperson expressed the company’s delight in the judge’s decision, calling it a confirmation “that Sotheby’s expertise is of the highest standards.”

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2 thoughts on “INSANITY! LONDON COURT APPROVES ART FRAUD!-Sotheby’s WINS Caravaggio-who got paid off?

  1. Why ‘insanity’ and why ‘who got paid off’? These sensational headlines are hardly justified by the bald account of the case.

    1. Dear Ian anthony Harris,

      Your comment has only been accepted for publication as an example of someone who makes a comment without doing due diligence and believes that having uninformed opinions can be plastered o anyone’s website. That is not true in most cases.

      Apparently you don’t understand the article and I don’t think you are an attorney for you are demonstrating by your comment that you do not actually understand that there’s no way that the London Court could have found in Sotheby’s favor based upon the evidence of what happened. Their authenticators did not do due diligence in authentication, as was later indicated by the person who is considered the world class expert in Caravaggio. At the very best, Sotheby’s probably won on a technicality of the law, not the merits of the case.

      This is insanity because the London Courts have previously given such rulings. A perfect case was the lawsuit that was brought against Dan Brown for plagiarism regarding the Da Vinci Code. I read the actual holding of the case and the published findings and being an attorney, and understanding the intricacies of how attorney’s play games known a forum shopping, when I read the Dan Brown case, my mouth dropped open in astonishment, the evidence of plagiarism was so strongly presented, their was no way that Mr. Brown should have won that case. But of course there was so much money involved with that franchise that Random House was backing, Mr. Brown already came from extensive family wealth and had more $ for legal resources and then turned around and proceeded to effectively destroy the lives of the original plaintiffs, the title to this article is in no way sensational. It’s an indication of how truly filthy the entire art world is. The same thing happens in many case rulings in the USA Supreme court.

      And apparently you have not bothered to read one of my previously published articles regarding the reports of how much rampant fraud the official art authentication organization AiA published recently about how much fraud in the art world occurred in 2014. I suggest you do more due diligence. Publishing soon will be an article about how the entire London art scene and promoters are releasing false statements to keep the art market “bubble” as they chose to call the situation themselves buoyed up by research paid for by their own organizations. Pretty easy for an organization to claim all is well when they commission the report non objectively. The UK seems to have an exceptionally active delusional PR machine going since the economic reports as reported in UK newspapers report quite the opposite in what is really happening economically in the UK and in the EU.

      And haven’t I seen you before connected with an ezine formerly known as AAD? It appears you my be one of those associated with the defamation imposed upon me by those involved with that ezine, and the threats to my life I received last year. There are very easy ways for me to check out your associations, and if I find you coming back to my personal website with such unsupported comments, I will take proper action. YOU have now been educated.



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