Friday, July 25, 2014

Forfeiture and Becchina: another link to Canada

Ric St Hilaire has written about a new forfeiture of two items that seem to be identified from the Becchina archive. The two items are an Attic red-figured skyphos and an Apulian bell-krater, valued at $55,000. They are reported to have been consigned to Christie's in New York. It is reported that they were seized in 2011 from from Walter M. Banko Enterprises, Ltd. of Montreal.

It appears that the paperwork for the objects may have been fabricated as the skyphos passed through the hands of Becchina in 1982 even though there had been a link with Borowski. The krater appears to have been in Becchina's possession in 1992 even though the paperwork suggested an alternative collecting history.

St Hilaire notes the quoted collecting history for the krater that was later moved from France to Canada:
Documents recovered from the search of Becchina’s gallery and warehouse reveal the occurrence of the following events: in February of 1992, Becchina purchased the Krater, in fragments, from Raffaele Monticelli. On or about October 24, 1992, Becchina delivered the Krater to Ettore Bruno who was to restore the Krater. On or about July 15, 1993, Ettore Bruno sent a photograph of the restored Krater to Becchina. On or about August 10, 1993, Robert Guy answered Becchina regarding the Krater’s attribution and the scientific study of the Krater. Ettore Bruno returned the Krater to Becchina in March of 1994. Becchina paid 8,490 Swiss francs for the restoration of the Krater. On May 1, 1994, Bechina noted that the Krater was then located in his warehouse at Porto Franco di Basilea (Switzerland).
I have raised the issue of Walter Banko before in the case of the janiform head also identified from the Becchina archive. This head had passed through Christie's in 2009.

Will Christie's have to explain the rigour of their due diligence process?

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1 comment:

kyri said...

hi david,are there pictures of the skyphos and the apulian krater. hmmm i remember the head in christies,its a shame that we cant trust the published collecting history printed in the auction catalougs,thats about all a collectors got to go on when considering a purchase.


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