There’s a lawsuit in the UK that gives us a narrative of the $300m sale of Gauguin’s Nafea faa ipoipo (When will you marry?) which was bought from Rudolf Staechlin’s family foundation in 2014 for an endlessly repeated report of $300m privately, one of the key events in marking the top of the art market in the 2014-15 period.
It turns out that the sale was for $210m and that is a source of some recriminations between the seller and one of the intermediaries who is suing to get a commission.
Simon de Pury went to school with Staechelin and acted as a go-between for Guy Bennett, the al-Thani family’s representative in art dealings. But de Pury tried one of the oldest sales moves, get the buyer and seller talking and hope one of them will move.
Turns out the Qataris were firm on their price and Staechelin eventually compromised:Continue Reading