New York Auction Houses May Be Forced to Reveal Consignors and Buyers

From the upcoming Christie’s contemporary sale. (Getty Images)

In her Financial Times column today, Georgina Adam reports that, the New York Supreme Court has ruled that auction houses may soon have to “reveal the names of both consignors and buyers to ensure a sale contract is binding,” in her phrasing.

The case concerns Albert Rabizadeh, who bought a Russian box from William J. Jenack auctioneers in Chester, N.Y., and then refused to pay.

From the FT:

Rabizadeh appealed, invoking a commercial law – which originally dates back to medieval England – which states that the vendor’s name must be on the contract. Jenack, following the usual saleroom practice, had just put a number for the seller, #428.

The judge found for Rabizadeh, agreeing that the commercial law imposed the naming of buyers and sellers. Now Jenack is appealing the ruling and has been joined by Christie’s, which was not involved in the original case.

This story was first reported in the Maine Antique Digest.