Scandal Rocks the Notoriously Insular Antiques Trade
A legal dispute between John Hobbs, high-end antiques dealer, and his longtime furniture restorer, Dennis Buggins, has grown into a major scandal that has collectors and decorators feeling more than a little bit uneasy. Mr. Buggins claims that many of the more than 1,875 pieces of furniture that he has worked on for Mr. Hobbs over the past 21 years are either heavily restored or outright fakes, being marked up as much as 1000%. If Mr. Buggin’s allegations are true, £30 million worth has exchanged hands over supposedly priceless antiques that are in fact only average pieces of furniture. Decorators Michael Smith and Juan Pablo Molyneux have placed many Hobbs pieces in their clients’ homes. Other supposed Hobbs clients include Les Wexner, the Getty family, Oscar de la Renta, Valentino and art magazine maven and collector, Louise T. Blouin MacBain.
Filed under: antiques, art market, collecting | 24 Comments