Friday, June 30, 2017

Correction—Gauguins's "When Will You Marry" Was NOT Sold For $300 Million—Correction (lawsuit reveals actual price)

For the record, here's how you do a 'Regret the error' .gif:

When a journalist accidently misquotes a source

That was from Party like a Journalist, last seen in 2014's "Upworthy Does a Correction On The McDonald's Chicken McNuggets Video" and appropriate here.

In January 2016 we posted Questions Americans Are Asking: "Are Paintings Pricier than Soccer Players?":
Okay, maybe not all Americans.
From The Creators Project:
In terms of money, 2015 was a great year for art. In February, Paul Gauguin's When Will You Marry? became the most expensive work of art ever when it sold for nearly $300 million (€275 million). A few months later, Les Femmes d’Algers (Version “O”) by Pablo Picasso set records as the most expensive painting ever sold at auction, when it was bought for $179 million (€164 million).
When Will You Marry? by Paul Gauguin, 1892,  via Wikimedia Commons, and Gareth Bale, via Wikimedia Commons
So for now, art is winning. The most expensive soccer player in the world, Welsh winger Gareth Bale, was sold to Real Madrid for €100 million in 2013. In 2015, the most expensive player was Belgian Kevin de Bruyne, who was sold to to Manchester City for €75 million—which amounts to a quarter of the price of that Gauguin painting.

But for how much longer will Picassos out-price players? Clubs are increasingly able to establish a total player value no Gauguin can match—Manchester City recently established a team worth upwards of €400 million. Thanks to a mix of corrupt bosses, lack of controls, and soccer sugar-daddies from abroad, transfer fees seem to be increasing exponentially in recent years. And while soccer is the world’s favorite sport, no one player’s career value is as timeless as that of a Picasso or a Van Gogh.

This upward drift in transfer fees can easily be visualized in a graph. If current trends hold, then the most expensive soccer player in 2025 will cost more than €160 million....MORE
In February of this year we repeated the error with "Sotheby’s Hires Wall Street Vet to Head Private Sales" (BID), although, in our defense we at least expressed a bit of scepticism:
...The three (reputedly) most expensive paintings were all traded privately:
"Qatar Purchases Cézanne’s The Card Players for More Than $250 Million, Highest Price Ever for a Work of Art"
Cézanne, The Card Players
$259 million- April 2011

Questions Americans Are Asking: "Are Paintings Pricier than Soccer Players?"
Gauguin, When Will You Marry?
$300 million February 2015

Ahem. The Art Market May Still Be Alive: Speculation That Citadel’s Kenneth Griffin Spent $500 Million On a 2-Piece Private Sale
deKoonig, Interchange 
$300 million September 2015

We happened to have a post on each one.

And now this, via Art Market Monitor:

Simon de Pury’s Lawsuit Reveals True Price Paid for Gauguin’s Nafea faa ipoipo (When will you marry?)
There’s a lawsuit in the UK that gives us a narrative of the $300m sale of Gauguin’s Nafea faa ipoipo (When will you marry?) which was bought from Rudolf Staechlin’s family foundation in 2014 for an endlessly repeated report of $300m privately, one of the key events in marking the top of the art market in the 2014-15 period.

It turns out that the sale was for $210m and that is a source of some recriminations between the seller and one of the intermediaries who is suing to get a commission.

Simon de Pury went to school with Staechelin and acted as a go-between for Guy Bennett, the al-Thani family’s representative in art dealings. But de Pury tried one of the oldest sales moves, get the buyer and seller talking and hope one of them will move.

Turns out the Qataris were firm on their price and Staechelin eventually compromised:...MORE