Strong Museum Sues Appraiser

The Strong Museum is suing Robert C. Eldred Co. Inc, an appraiser that put a value of between $800 and $1,200 on a porcelain vase. The vase later sold for $23,000 at the appraiser’s auction in December 2000. Four months later, the vase was sold for $1.55 million in Hong Kong at a Christie’s auction.

The Strong Museum accuses the appraiser of a breach of contract and alleges that Eldred misidentified the vase’s era by a century — designating it 19th century instead of 18th century. At the auction, the Strong Museum made $20,000 from the Eldred auction.

A. Paul Britton, the Strong Museum’s attorney, said: “Because of Eldred’s breach of contract, the vase was sold at far less than its actual fair-market value.”

Robyn Turner, director of San Francisco’s Robyn Turner Gallery, which specializes in Asian art, said: “There are so many experts and so many different opinions. If you’ve got 10 people, you’ve got 10 different opinions.”

Appraiser Martin Lorber, of Masterson Gurr Johns in New York City, said “For those who are conversant with the Chinese art market, it’s a known situation.” said Lorber, who is sometimes featured on the PBS series Antiques Roadshow.

Published in: on July 7, 2003 at 3:45 am  Leave a Comment  

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