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The glamour and mystery of the art auction, gathering interested buyers from across the globe, makes it one of the most fascinating marketplaces in existence. ‘Sleepers’, artworks or antiques that have been undervalued and mislabelled due to an expert’s oversight and consequently undersold, appear regularly. This fascinating new book provides the first extensive study of the phenomenon of sleepers through an in-depth analysis of the contractual relationships, liability and remedies that arise in the context of auction sales.
The Sale of Misattributed Artworks and Antiques at Auction begins with examination of the creation of sleepers and the process of attribution of artworks and antiques at auction. This is followed by a comparative analysis of the law governing auctioneer’s liability in Switzerland, England and the United States and a critical assessment of the risks and drawbacks of the current practical and legal regime. The book concludes with an original and pragmatic solution to the challenge of addressing and settling sleeper disputes at auction, including model terms that auction houses can directly adopt in their business terms.
This insightful new book will be of interest to lawyers, auction houses and anyone involved in the authentication or sale of artworks. It will also provide a valuable resource for academics and students in law, anthropology and arts.