HARTFORD (CN) – Guernsey’s auction house demands $600,000 from Museo de la Moda, of Santiago, Chile, in a dispute over the “Princess Diana Swan Lake Suite,” a pearl and diamond necklace and earrings. Guernsey’s claims the museum offered $1.5 million for the jewels, but never came up with the money, so the set was pulled from the auction. That caused other buyers to “become suspicious,” and Guernsey’s says it had to sell them for only $900,000.
Guernsey’s, of New York, N.Y., sued the Chilean museum in Federal Court. It claims that the head of collections for the museum offered the $1.5 million as a “private treaty,” and then backed out.
Guernsey’s claims it pulled the jewels from the auction because it accepted the private offer for $1.5 million, and informed “numerous important periodicals including The New York Times” that the jewels had been sold.
“As a result of the actions of the defendants withdrawing said offer, other buyers became suspicious and did not wish to see said jewels,” the complaint states. “Finally, the plaintiff to mitigate damages sold the said jewels for $900,000.”
Guernsey’s demands $600,000 for breach of contract. It is represented by Gary Greene of Farmington, Conn.
Museo de la Moda is Spanish for Fashion Museum.