Simon de Pury
Simon de Pury, whose entitlement to a $10m fee for facilitating the sale of a work by Paul Gauguin has been upheld in court.

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Lord Justice Lewison dismissed the appeal at the Royal Courts of Justice on May 14.

Back in January 2018, the High Court had issued the judgement that de Pury can be awarded the $10m payment (plus costs and interest) after the Paul Gauguin painting, Nafea faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry), was sold to the emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, in a $210m private sale in 2014.

Its previous owner was former Sotheby’s executive Ruedi Staechelin, whose grandfather had acquired the picture when assembling an important collection of modern art.

Unwritten agreement

According to the complaint filed against Staechelin and his trust, de Pury acted as a broker between Staechelin and Guy Bennett, a former Christie’s expert who became the Qatari’s director of collections and acquisitions.

De Pury and his wife Michaela advised on the deal but did not receive commission which, although not written into any contact, was part of a ‘gentleman’s agreement’.

“Once again, my role and the one of Michaela in this transaction, has been fully recognised and the integrity of a handshake deal in the art world has been upheld,” de Pury said in a statement.

Simon de Pury and Paul Gauguin’s ‘Nafea faa Ipoipo’ (When Will You Marry)

Simon de Pury standing in front of Paul Gauguin’s ‘Nafea faa Ipoipo’ (When Will You Marry) for which he helped broker a $210m private sale in 2014.