An Andrew Wyeth watercolor that had been estimated at $300-500,000 in a Christie’s sale earlier this Summer was withdrawn when questions were raised about the work’s authenticity. Remarkably, the owner surrendered the fake to the government:
An art dealer in Seattle, Washington, who had been involved in a previous transaction with the genuine “Snow Birds” painting called Christie’s auction house in New York to question its authenticity, said Mary Landa, curator of collections at the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania.
Landa, a Wyeth expert, confirmed that it was a fake.
“Christie’s did the right thing and followed up,” said David Hall, the assistant U.S. attorney who is leading the investigation.
“It was a really good fake, and that’s why it was able to get as far as it did,” Hall said.
“It was close — very close — but not the real thing,” said Landa, curator of collections with the Brandywine River Museum, the Wyeth artist family’s home museum.