Lancelot William Thwaytes sold a copy of Caravaggio’s “The Cardships” at Sotheby’s in 2006 for £42,000. He consigned the work for sale after being told it was a copy. The buyer, Denis Mahon a collector and scholar who died in 2011, subsequently identified the painting as “by the hand of Caravaggio” with an estimated market value of £10m.
Sothebys have issued a statement saying its “view that the painting is a copy and not an autograph work by Caravaggio is supported by the eminent Caravaggio scholar Richard Spear, as well as by several other leading experts in the field”. However, there are a number of leading scholars who support Mahon’s attribution.
Sotheby’s state that the market gave its view on the work when it sold in 2006 for £50,400 inclusive of buyers premium.
Thwaytes has filed a claim at London’s High Court of Justice.
To be continued….