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Christie's accidentally sold stolen miniatures
ARTinvestment.RU   05 октября 2008

Fourteen miniature portraits stolen from a British art gallery Abbot Hall two years ago, were sold at Christie's auction

Fourteen miniature portraits stolen in one of the British Museum, were sold at auction by an oversight Christie's, held at King Street on 10 June. These works are in private collections and exhibited in the Abbot Hall Art Gallery in Kendal County Kumbriya two years ago.

Abbot Hall was built in 1759 and in 1962 turned into a picture gallery, where the exhibited works of British art from the XVIII century to our days. Theft occurred the evening of 31 August 2006; thieves to get to the museum, smashed the glass doors of the old cabinet of XVIII century, and stole sixty-nine British miniature portraits. These works have been collected about a hundred years ago in a family of local collector, who gave them to the exhibition.

Information about the crime did not hit the press and has not been recorded by Art Loss Register, which regularly verifies the directories leading auction houses including Christie's. But the details of missing portraits have been entered into the database of another large company - Trace, which also fixes the reported theft of works of art. However, neither the police nor the representatives of Abbot Hall did not provide photographs of stolen objects.

One of the representatives of Christie's said: «This catalog, like the rest of our catalogs, was sent in the Trace, and the Art Loss Register, but these pictures have not been identified as stolen by them». Trace representative confirmed that the thumbnails have been entered into the database and that the Christie's catalog has been tested, and suggested that the difficulty in identification due to the lack of pictures.

At the tender were issued fourteen portraits of sixty-nine. Among them were the work of John Smart (John Smart), with estimeytami 45 000 and 54 000 dollars; Kozveya Richard (Richard Cosway), with estimeytom 31 500 dollars, and Houna Horace (Horace Hone), with estimeytom 27 000 dollars.

The whole collection, on display in the Abbot Hall, was insured. It is assumed that its owner will return the money from the insurance after the return of miniatures.

Source: theartnewspaper.com

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