Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Frank Lloyd Wright chair

Who owns a chair taken from a dumpster? The police have decided that a Frank Lloyd Wright chair offered at auction wasn't stolen from S. C. Johnson Company. The chair, along with two others, had been "rescued" from a dumpster, then used for two years in the new owner's garage when he did repair work. He tried to sell them at two rummage sales then listed them on eBay. The chairs, some of the hundreds made in 1936 for the Johnson offices, sold to a dealer for $500, then at least one was sold to Wright Auction House in Chicago which put it up for sale. It brought $12,000. Some of the set of chairs are still in use at the company.

A bargain $280 was paid for a miniature painting a few months ago by a London art dealer. Research has shown that the miniature was by John Trumbell of Connecticut and is worth about $22,000. It's a 1793 picture of a Philadelphia lawyer. No news of how the dealer plans to sell it.

Marklin, the model train maker in Germany, was part of a private equity deal in 2006 but it has filed for bankruptcy. Restructuring failed because the company could not get new credit from the banks. Marklin hopes to use the time to restructure more effectively and save the company. The company was founded in 1859.


Anonymous said...

Who Owns the Chair.

Could either of two possibilities.

If the company that put the chair in the dumpster paid for the dumpster service then by paying for it they could conceivably still own the chair. Until the dumpster company picked up the dumpster.

If the dumpster company picked up the dumpster with the chair still in it the they could conceivably own the chair as it was their dumpster that they rented out.

Two very plausible rights of ownership.

Now if the itme were just put out on the sidewalk for trash day pick up then it becomes public domain to be searched through by anyone and then finders keepers comes into play.

Thank You for letting me post my comment.

Anonymous said...

Well, at least it has more ACTUAL value than the Yves St. Laurent--owned leather armchair that auctioned for $26M!

Anonymous said...

A recent find in New York was decided quite differently. An expensive painting was found in the trash on the sidewalk; but, the painting had been reported stolen and the woman who found it had to turn it over to the original owner. Also, a case of film negatives of Marilyn Monroe found in the trash is now being decided in New York. Since they were copyrighted they were deemed owned by the photographer. He originally sued the finders for $1,000,000 in damages but they did not use the negatives so that was dropped. Now, they are working out a deal that will involve them getting prints and returning the negatives.