The Daily Mail hashes over some gossip about Leonardo drawing sold by Dickinson. The tale seems little more than seller’s remorse at discovering money left on the table but it does provide an interesting take on the way the international art market works to the frustration of some sellers:
A former director at auctioneers Christie’s, Dickinson sold the drawing – the Madonna and child with St Anne and a lamb – to a wealthy U.S. collector. But now the former owner – a Liechtenstein-based foundation called Accidia (which translates as sloth in Latin) – has issued a writ against him, accusing him of wrongfully retaining his commission. The foundation claims he had not been engaged to sell the work.
Instead, according to the High Court writ, Accidia had approached international art dealer Daniella Luxembourg, who is the lady in the life of billionaire cosmetics heir Ronald Lauder, the son of beauty queen Estee Lauder. Like Dickinson, she is a noted dealer, although she specialises in more modern artists, including Pablo Picasso and Amedeo Modigliani. It is claimed she was appointed as the sole selling agent, and was instructed to sell the drawing for £3.3 million. Accidia says it had stipulated that Ms Luxembourg should keep the drawing at her London apartment, at The Albany in Piccadilly, and that it could not be released to a third party before it had been paid for in full.
According to the writ, Luxembourg, 59, instead, took the drawing to Dickinson, who she enlisted for research and marketing purposes. When he then sold the drawing for £4.2 million, he passed £3.6 million to Luxembourg Art, Daniella’s company, and kept the difference himself. Luxembourg then took £300,000 for herself, giving the seller what she had agreed to pay: £3.3 million. Accidia says Dickinson did not have authority to sell the drawing on its behalf and want his £600,000 slice, plus interest.
Legal Wrangle £4-2m da Vinci Sketch (Daily Mail)