March 11, 2020

Van Gogh goes for 15 million euro in Maastricht

Filed under: Art,History by Orangemaster @ 4:36 pm

‘Peasant woman in front of a farmhouse’ (‘Paysanne devant une chaumière’ in French), an 1885 work by Vincent van Gogh that was bought back in the 1960s in the UK for about 5 euro, just sold for 15 million euro at the world’s premier art fair TEFAF in Maastricht, Limburg.

It’s one of those stories were someone had left the painting in a cellar for years until a local antique merchant bought it at an auction for next to nothing. One year later, the painting was sold to a journalist for about 53 euro; he showed it the Tate Gallery director and it was deemed to be a Van Gogh. The journalist then auctioned it off in 1970 at Sotheby’s in New York City where it fetched USD 110.000 (97.455 euro).

In 2001 the work was sold for the last time at Sotheby’s for 1.5 million euro. Today, at 15 million euro, it’s the most expensive artwork ever sold at the TEFAF, although not all sales at the annual event are made public.

(Link:, image

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August 20, 2013

Sotheby’s knowingly sells stolen Dutch work

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 3:40 pm

A work by Dutch artist Jan Schoonhoven stolen from the Museum van Bommel van Dam in Venlo last March was auctioned off by London auction house Sotheby’s in what the Dutch media has called the ‘gaffe of the century’.

Sotheby’s auctioned a white relief made from papier-maché and latex paint for close to 214, 000 euro despite a warning from the Art Loss Register, a London databank of stolen artwork.

And if that isn’t sloppy enough, the Sotheby’s catalogue had the work printed under a false name and the picture of the work was rotated 90 degrees. Two art traders, one British and one Dutch, recognised the stolen work, pointed it out, and only then did Sotheby’s decide to inform the police.


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October 6, 2008

Major art sale due to cigarette factory closing

Filed under: Art by Orangemaster @ 8:03 am
Cigarette ban

Over the last 50 years, the British American Tobacco (BAT) factory in Zevenaar, Gelderland has built up a large collection of modern art. The factory will soon be closed and the artwork in the Stuyvesant collection will be auctioned off, albeit not as a one lot.

“At the end of the 1950s, factory director Alexander Orlow started hanging works of art among the cigarette-making machines. The workers needed something interesting to look at to stave off boredom and increase their productivity, he felt. Orlow went for modern, avant-garde art – large, colourful and mainly abstract paintings.

In collaboration with the directors of the Rotterdam Boijmans van Beuningen museum and the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam, it acquired over 1,500 pieces, 150 of which are often loaned to major exhibitions. But on August 15 this year, BAT announced that it would auction off the total collection.”

The commotion surrounding the sale is due to the fact that the cigarette manufacturer tried to find a buyer who would keep the collection together and accessible to the public, but had been unable to do so. Mayor Jan de Ruiter, who has been trying to save the collection since 2006, spoke to the BAT executive in London and mobilised the Dutch state, the provincial government and the Mondriaan Foundation. He spoke to Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum about the possibility of an annex in Zevenaar. He had calculations made on how much a Stuyvesant Museum would cost. Everyone was helpful yet all his efforts failed.

Neither Sotheby’s nor BAT want to comment on the total value of the art (which includes paintings by Karel Appel, Corneille and Anton Henning), but it is believed to be between 15 and 25 million euro.

(Link: (In English))

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