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The seven works of art by Richard Prince saw their value decline as the market suffered a serious downturn last autumn – and Minor wants to be compensated as a result.

That case has yet to be settled, but now Christie’s have launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit against Minor for breach of contract after he failed to pay for three major works he bid for successfully at auction.

Including premium, the three works – a van Dyck, a Stubbs and a Stringer – should have cost Minor more than $7m, but Christie’s have accused him of bidding when he knew he did not have the wherewithal to pay for them.

What made the matter worse, claim Christie’s, is that because Minor continued to promise to pay for the pictures, whilst not actually doing so, they were prevented from re-offering them, with a consequent loss of revenue.

Minor is already involved in another case which Sotheby’s launched last September.

They are suing him for around $17m saying he failed to pay for a number of works of art including a Peaceable Kingdom by Edward Hicks.