This is turning into an eventful year in the Eileen Gray furniture market. First, her work stunned the world when it became one of the unexpected stars of the Yves Saint Laurent sale. Now a London fraud investigation centers on the sale of a collection of her work valued at £18m. Robin Symes is accused of selling the collection for $10m, a discount price, without the knowledge of his former partner, Christo Michailidis’s heirs. The Evening Standard finishes the tale:
Before the death of 56-year-old Mr Michailidis, who fell down a staircase at a villa, he lived with Mr Symes in a £6 million Chelsea property with a room dedicated to the display of the Gray furniture. Investigators for the Michailidis family have allegedly accumulated evidence that Mr Symes sold the masterpieces through a Parisian art dealer.
London law firm Bird & Bird, which represents the Michailidis family, has reportedly obtained details of Mr Symes’s bank accounts that are said to reveal a money trail emanating from the secret sale of the Gray collection. They allegedly indicate that Mr Symes received a $10.3 million payment for it.
Antiquities Dealer and a Missing ¢18m Collection (This is London)