What recourse is there after buying a fake painting that was advertised at auction as an original work by a well-known artist?

Asked about 1 year ago - Plattsburgh, NY

At a public auction in New York State, I purchased a painting that was advertised and sold as being an authentic, original work by a renowned 20th century artist. The painting turned out to be a fake, according to an art expert who did a formal, post-auction appraisal of the painting in question. What are my legal options? I'm also seeking the legal category this type of action falls under: fraud, misrepresentation, unjust enrichment, breach of warranties, etc. Thank you.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees


    Answered . You have to read the catalog and sales documents for disclaimers. Have you called the auction house to see if it will reverse the sale? Try to find a lawyer who deals in art sales.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 16 years. I was... more
  2. Jayson Lutzky


    Contributor Level 20

    Answered . Maybe all causes of actions that you stated, plead in the alternative. First consult with a local lawyer to see if a settlement can be reached instead of costly litigation. Bring along the bill of sale and catalog when consulting with your attorney.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate... more
  3. Robert V Cornish Jr.

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Demand that the purchase be rescinded or sue them for what you paid. One of my colleagues in my office handles these sorts of matters with galleries and auction houses, as do many people here on AVVO.

    The foregoing is not legal advice nor is it in any manner whatsoever meant to create or impute an attorney/client... more

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