The heirs of Jewish collector Alphonse Kann said on October 30th 1998 that one of his Picasso paintings stolen by the Nazis during the Second World War was withdrawn from the sale of the Dora Maar collection a few days before it took place.
Francis Warin, representative of the heirs of Alphonse Kann, told Artcult in Paris that Dora Maar had been in possession of a Picasso, “Coffee pot, Pipe and Cup” painted in 1911 and stolen from his uncle's collection in 1940.
The heirs of Alphonse Kann approached the auctioneers , PIASA and Mathias, and obtained that the painting should be withdrawn from their sale pending investigations.
Francis Warin was adamant that the 1911 cubist painting did belong to his uncle. “ We already have a 1938 photo showing the painting in his home,” he stressed.
“The painting was stolen in 1940 after my uncle fled to Britain leaving his collection behind him. It was then sold by Rochlitz, a German dealer, on behalf of Marshall Goering whose representatives had laid their hands on Jewish-owned collections. The buyer was Herr Rosner, another German, who bartered it against an old master piece with a French gallery-owner, presumably Fabiani who was a known wartime collaborationist,” he said.
Francis Warin disclosed that Picasso frequently visited galleries during the war and that it was highly probable that he bought back his 1911 work around 1943 to offer it to Dora Maar.
The painting was discreetly withdrawn from the Dora Maar sale a few weeks before it was due to take place on October 27th 1998 and was not included in the auction catalogue. Francis Warin said he was confident about his chances to recover it. Adrian Darmon