More on Mahon's £10m 'Caravaggio'
March 29 2013
The Art Newspaper has an interesting update on Sir Denis Mahon's 2006 'Caravaggio' discovery. Regular readers will remember that Sir Denis bought it at Sotheby's, where it was called 'after Caravaggio', and Sotheby's are now being sued by the then vendor. I'm reliably informed that the picture isn't in fact by Caravaggio, but a competent copy.
However, TAN reports that the picture was jointly owned by Sir Denis and Orietta Adam, his close friend, and valued for insurance and export licence purposes at £10m. Which makes one wonder what sort of inheritance tax liability was levied on Sir Denis' half-share, whoever he left it to. 40% of £5m is quite a hit, especially if the picture is indeed a copy worth not much more than the £50,000 he paid for it.