Subject:CHRISTIES, AFFANDI, KARTIKA
Posted By: luke owens Wed, Sep 05, 2007 IP: 184.108.40.206
Hello, we are joining this forum to explain a situation we find ourselves in, that we feel,
has a relevance to anybody who has had, or are thinking of having, any dealings with
Christies auction rooms.
We purchased 3 paintings by Indonesian artist Affandi. All of them from the same source.
In 1996 we sold one of these paintings – Fighting Roosters in baskets. Lot no:82. Christies Amsterdam, Tuesday October 29th 1996 - at auction.
When looking to sell another, in 1999, we sent both of our remaining Affandis’ for evaluation and received one for each painting. We decided to sell one of them and hold onto the other.
This painting – Barong Dance. Lot no:138 Christies Singapore, Sunday October 1st 2000 - also sold successfully at auction.
In January of 2006 we decided to sell the last of our 3 Affandis’ and again sent for a new evaluation. Christies were so excited about this painting that they asked us to send it to them 6 months before their next auction so they could use it for promotional purposes and possibly for the cover of the catalogue. In addition to this, they also waived the shipping costs and gave the painting a double page entry in the catalogue with photograph, and literature – composed by them - .
The evening before the sale we received a telephone call from Christies, asking us if we had any documentation on the painting. We faxed them a copy of a certificate from the Affandi museum – that came with the painting – which seemed to satisfy them.
2 minutes before the sale Christies withdrew the painting from auction. The reason we were given was that Affandi’s daughter, Kartika – who now runs the Affandi museum that used to be run by the cultural department of the Indonesian government – had told them that in her opinion the painting was a fake and the person who signed the certificate was not authorised to do so.
What we would like to know is what happened to this painting in the 6 months that it was with Christies, as surely their experts viewed it.
What expertise does Affandi’s daughter have?
If Kartika is such an authority, why was she not consulted earlier, thus saving the humiliation, controversy and financial repercussions.
We are left confused by this experience and would not wish anybody else to suffer the same.
We are looking into various courses of action and are asking anybody who has had a similar experience to please get in contact with us.
We are also asking whoever bought the first 2 Affandi’s to please contact us as we feel that this situation seems to call the authenticity of these paintings into question.
To this date, we have still not received our painting back.