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Update Regarding Sotheby's Sale of American Folk Art Museum Gifts

David Hewett | June 16th, 2013

Sotheby’s still hasn’t announced whether it will offer the 212 once-promised gifts of Ralph Esmerian to the American Folk Art Museum at an auction in December 2013 or in January 2014, as we reported in our last issue (see M.A.D., June 2013, p. 12-A). Both dates were suggested in the April 19 report of bankruptcy liquidation trustee Jay Teitelbaum to Judge Robert Drain.

One filing with the court may suggest that a search is underway for material that could lead to a challenge of attorney Jay Teitelbaum’s recommendation of Sotheby’s as the chosen firm. Sotheby’s and Christie’s each offered persuasive arguments as to their fitness to conduct the sale of the 212 folk art treasures.

On May 15, the New York City law firm of Togut, Segal & Segal filed documents with the court stating it was representing Christie’s Inc. and requested “copies of any and all notices, pleadings, motions, declarations, orders to show cause, applications, presentments, petitions, memoranda, affidavits, declarations, orders, or other documents filed or entered” in the two jointly administrated bankruptcy cases, both involving Ralph Esmerian, before Judge Drain.

The law firm demanded not only the notices and paper copies of the above articles but all such material, “whether formal or informal, whether written or oral, and whether transmitted, conveyed by mail, hand delivery, telephone, telegraph, telex, e-mail or otherwise.”

The May 15 request may be just a fishing expedition, but it will be interesting to see if anything gets reeled in.

Originally published in the July 2013 issue of Maine Antique Digest. © 2013 Maine Antique Digest

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