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Friday, May 24, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Collector Values Missing Warhol Box at $250K

NAPA, Calif. (CN) - A fine arts company shipped Andy Warhol Marilyn Monroe screenprints to a buyer without the original cardboard box, reducing the prints' value by nearly $250,000, the buyer claims in court.

One Sweet Dreams LLC sued Heather James LLC in Napa County Superior Court, alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment. It claims James failed to deliver the prints as they were described in the Sotheby's catalogue.

Heather James Fine Art, of Palm Desert, describes itself on its website as representing "a world-class spectrum of art bridging genres including Impressionist and Modern, Classical, Post-War and Contemporary, American and Latin American, Old Masters, design, cutting-edge contemporary and photography."

One Sweet Dreams claims it agreed to buy the Warhol prints from James for $1.65 million. Heather James agreed to take One Sweet Dreams' Warhol Flowers screenprints in color, valued at $605,000, as a trade item for part of the payment, according to the complaint.

One Sweet Dreams claims it transferred $1.045 million to Heather James, along with the Flowers prints, on March 12 this year.

But when it got Marilyn Monroe prints, it "discovered that the prints were non-conforming in that they were shipped without the original cardboard box described in the Sotheby's catalogue condition report as original stamp/numbered cardboard box. Plaintiff immediately protested receipt of the prints without the box and further made multiple demands for delivery of the same but to no avail," the lawsuit states.

Gurr-Johns International determined that the retail replacement percentage loss of value for having the prints without the box was 15 percent or $247,500, not including cost of restoration, One Sweet Dreams claims.

One Sweet Dreams seeks $247,500 plus interest accruing from the date or purchase.

It is represented by Michael T. Carlson with Geary, Shea, O'Donnell, Grattan & Mitchell, in Santa Rosa.

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