The complaint filed yesterday in the Picasso sculpture case makes for interesting reading. Although the complaint calls the price paid by Gagosian in response to the Pelham sale “inflated,” its language does seem to validate the idea that the first sale was below market value. That has to be embarrassing for the defunct partnership Connery, Pissarro and Seydoux, some of the most sophisticated players in the international art market, who represented Maya and Olivier Widmaier Picasso in the deal.
The fact is now clear that a buyer was and is willing to pay much more for the work and CSP were simply unaware of that. It will be very interesting to see how the court rules.
Katya Kazakina added some interesting details about the sculpture to her report, including the existence of another version:
Two casts of “Bust of a Woman” already exist — one bronze, another cement — according to Werner Spies’ catalog of 664 sculptures by Picasso completed between 1902 and 1971. When the plaster bust is deemed sold, it will likely become the most expensive Picasso sculpture to change hands. Today that record rests with the bronze head of a woman that fetched $29.2 million in 2007 at Sotheby’s, according to Artnet.
Picasso Bust Pits Qatar Against Apollo CEO in Ownership Spat (Bloomberg Business)