Georgina Adam has an intriguing tale in her Financial Times column surrounding a collection of works that were meant to be sold in Dubai later this month known as the “lost collection” because the works were unknown to scholars and the market. But it turns out the reason the works are unknown — and have now been withdrawn from the sale — may be that the owners never acquired them properly:
According to Christie’s publicity, the works came from a US couple: “Eric and Sheila [Azari], who formed the collection, were patrons of the arts in Tehran from the late 1950s through the 1970s.” […]
Parviz Tanavoli, one of the artists whose work was in the “Lost Collection”, told me, “In the 1960s, Eric Azari and his wife were living in Tehran and they asked a number of artists to give them art for sale in the new gallery he was opening. I gave 12 paintings; others gave many more. There were a lot of promises but we were never paid, but just recently we saw some of the works in Christie’s sale. We did try to negotiate with Christie’s but the terms were unacceptable.” […] The works had “escaped the public gaze” and were “unknown to most scholars and curators since the 1960s”, said Christie’s; the artists concerned were the Iranians Charles Hossein Zenderoudi, Parviz Tanavoli, Faramarz Pilaram, Sadegh Tabrizi and Nasser Ovissi, and the works expected to fetch from $3,000 to $120,000.
The Art Market: A House Party (Financial Times)