> TELEPHONE US 212.355.5710

In Volume 204 of our Comments on the Art Market, we briefly covered the charges brought against art dealer, Ezra Chowaiki.  Since then, more information has come to light regarding the now bankrupt art gallery and its crooked dealer.


The court documents regarding the company’s bankruptcy claim reveals it has less than $300,000 in assists and almost $12 million in claims by victims who were defrauded.



Known victims

  • 1 A Cayman Island company, that is managed by a modern-art dealer, alleges that it was cheated out of $900,000. The deal was that he would purchase a 50% stake in a sculpture which Chowaiki would flip for a quick profit of over $100,000 to the victim. Chowaiki claimed a buyer was already lined up and willing to pay $2.15 million. However, once the money was wired, the victim learned that the work was not being sold by Chowaiki but actually up for auction in London.
  • 2 Sotheby’s had hired the gallery as an agent to purchase “Titine Trovato in Dress and Hat” by Henri Matisse for $12 million. Sotheby’s then had plans to resell the work for $15-$20 million. Before the deal went through, the gallery sold the work to another buyer for $4.75 million. Sotheby’s is seeking damages for the loss.
  • 3 Carpenter Fine Violins and Collectibles LLC., claims they acquired a 50% stake in Kandinsky’s "Schichtenweise" for $312,500. What is interesting is that this is the same amount of money “Victim-2” in the lawsuit claims Chowaiki stole; however, there is no information yet that connects these two cases.

Recent Blog Posts

You’ve Got A Leonardo, And You’ve Got A Leonardo, We All Have A Leonardo!

By Howard L. Rehs | Jan 9, 2018

Really? This is a Leonardo?  I need to go back for some more art history lessons.  I cannot wait to see how many more people claim to have a Leonardo!  I am digging through our inventory bins right now!! Source: A … More…

Read More

Some People Will Need To Pay Up

By Howard L. Rehs | Jan 4, 2018

After 50 years, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will be changing its admission policy.  Their current pay what you like policy does not seem to be working out, so now they will charge $25 for visitors who do not live … More…

Read More

Gutting A Collection To Pay The Bills

By Howard L. Rehs | Jan 4, 2018

It was just announced that the trustees of La Salle University have decided to sell off 46 works of art from their collection to help fund “teaching and learning initiatives”.  As you can guess, this has set off a firestorm … More…

Read More

Recently Added Work