The Economist seems to be suggesting that there was a quid pro quo during the Phillips de Pury Carte Blanche sale. The magazine asks why so much money was paid for Warhol’s, The Men in Her Life:
Irving Blum, the Los Angeles dealer who gave Warhol his first solo show, was shocked by the disparity in results. The prices, he affirmed, were “incredibly peculiar.”
And suggests that the consignor, José Mugrabi, was behaving out of character when he bought two of the top lots in the sale:
José Mugrabi and his family have a reputation for being bargain-hunting dealers with large inventories of Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Damien Hirst. In this sale, they acquired the lots that featured on both the front and back covers of the catalogue, in each case taking the unusual step of paying more than the high estimate. They bought Mr Cattelan’s “Stephanie” for $2.4m and Takashi Murakami’s “Miss ko2” for $6.8m.
A Passion that Knows No Bounds (Economist)