MINEOLA, N.Y. (CN) – A man claims he paid $875,000 for a fake goblet that a German auction house assured him had once belonged to Russia’s last czar, Nicholas II. The buyer sued Nagel Auktionen in Nassau County Court.
Albert Rabizadeh says he made his bid based on Nagel’s online catalog, which described the item as “a significant Russian gilded silver and cloisonné enamel goblet and cover by Fedor Ruckert, Moscow, dated 1906.”
The auction house claimed that Czar Nicholas II and Czarina Alexandra Feodorovna gave the goblet to her brother, the Grand Duke of Hesse, as a wedding present. Rabizadeh also is suing the estate of J.J. Ludwig, which he says consigned the goblet to Nagel.
Rabizadeh says he discovered the fraud when experts studied the piece. He says the experts concluded that the goblet’s markings and Fabergé inventory numbers were forged to simulate a 1906 Imperial presentation piece.
He says Nagel’s representatives told him they would need written proof from these experts and permission from all 10 heirs to the estate of J.J. Ludwig to see if they agree with the expert’s findings.
Rabizadeh demand rescission of the sale. He wants his money back and damages for fraud, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation.
He is represented by Daniel R. Wotman.