Art-World Fire Sale|Upsets British Peeress

     MANHATTAN (CN) – A Manhattan gallery broke its promise to sell a Henry Moore watercolor for not a farthing less than $461,000, a British noblewoman claims in federal court.
     Though living in London, Lady Corinne Green became the daughter-in-law of a British Virgin Islands leader by marrying Sir David Green, the son of the territory’s first supervisor of education Thomas Green.
     Lady Green also holds power of attorney for her aunt Imogen Lorna Priscilla Jaretzki, the owner of the late English painter Henry Moore’s “Figure Studies.”
     Green consigned Moore’s valuable watercolor to the fine-art agency Timothy Sammons on July 25, 2013.
     While Timothy Sammons is not listed as a defendant, Green claims that the company had no right to sell the Moore piece to Art Finance Partners, LLC and its owner Andrew Rose, who are named as defendants.
     “AFP knew or should have known that Sammons did not have the ability or right to convey good title to the artwork,” the complaint states.
     Green’s contract with Sammons stipulated the agent would only sell “Figure Studies” for “300,000 pounds or more” – roughly $460,000 – but the agency sold the watercolor together with four other paintings for the fire-sale price of $360,000, Green claims.
     “Considering the fact that AFP purportedly acquired title to the artwork and four additional original works of art for $360,000, the purchase price in the sale agreement was unreasonably low,” the complaint states.
     What’s more, the terms of the contract that Timothy Sammons allegedly breached had already expired at the time of the Feb. 5, 2015 sale, according to the lawsuit.
     The allegations mirror those lodged against Timothy Sammons and Art Finance Partners in a related Manhattan Federal Court lawsuit.
     According to both lawsuits, Timothy Sammons fell upon financial difficulties three years ago, and allegedly tried to get back in the black by selling artwork that wasn’t theirs to sell.
     The United Kingdom’s High Court of Justice froze up to 7 million pounds – $10.8 million – of Timothy Sammons’ assets, the lawsuits say.
     Green seeks at least $461,600 plus punitive damages for three counts of replevin, conversion, and aiding and abetting breach of fiduciary duty.
     She is represented by David Bowles of the firm Bowles Liberman & Newman LLP.

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