Auction of recently uncovered Arbus photos abruptly canceled

Wrote about this a few weeks ago. A dealer in NYC sold a box of pics he found in a box lot for $3500. Turns out there was a trove of unknown Diane Arbus photos in there – very interesting ones, to be sure – and they’re worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The dealer who sold them is suing the dealer he says duped him out of the find of his life. The sale was supposed to have happened yesterday, I think. Turns out it was abruptly canceled. Both the New York Times and our friend Kristi Roberts at Here Be Old Things have been covering this pretty well, so I’ll leave it to them. Kristi was going to the sale, and even went by the showroom to get a sneak peak.

I know that a lot of times it’s buy and sell at your own risk in this business, and that they seller should have known that he was giving away a fortune at such a small price – the first clue should have been when the buyer who bought the box said, “there’s nothing in there worth much at all, but I’ll give you $3500 right now for the whole thing, no questions asked. ‘kay?”

Money is money, I suppose, and there are no rules that say you have to play fair. Or are there? The speculation is that the original seller may just hve succeeded in his lawsuit. We’ll see later.