Neither Christie's nor Sotheby's accept posthumous bronzes for sale as the idea of identical multiples is counter to Brancusi's spirit of individualism. Still, posthumous Brancusis have sold privately for as much as $ 280,000 whereas a sum of $ 8,8 million was paid at Sotheby's New York in 1990 for the «Blond Negro Woman» from the well-known Lydia Winston Malbin collection.
In June 1995, at a Guy Loudmer auction in Paris, a posthumous bronze cast of the «Sleeping Muse II», with a top pre-sale estimate of $ 305,000, from an unidentified private collection, described in the catalogue as signed and numbered 2/8 from the Susse Foundry, went unsold. The word posthumous however did not appear anywhere in the catalogue description.
Posthumous Brancusis have been acquired by many museums, including the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena as well as a number of Japanese institutions. Even the Louvre Museum in Paris planned to commission a huge stainless-steel «Large Cock» as a centrepiece to I.M Pei's extraordinary pyramid addition to the museum until the art critic Pierre Schneider lashed out at such proposal in L'Express magazine describing the proposed sculpture as nothing but an approximation.
The latest battle for control of an artist's estate has been fought in French courts over Alberto Giacometti's legacy. The future of Giacometti's posthumous production has been hanging in the balance as well as the future of the artist's long awaited catalogue raisonné. Giacommeti deceased in 1966 and his widow, Annette, died in 1993.
The Association Alberto and Annette Giacometti, a private organisation founded by Mary Lisa Palmer, which controls Annette's estate, has been pitted against Bruno Giacometti, the artist's only surviving brother who has been supported by the Alberto Giacometti Foundation established in Switzerland in 1965 and which has only lifetime casts.
In July 1994, 14 posthumous Giacometti bronzes were sold in Drouot in July 1994 from Annette's estate for $ 5,47 million- «La Clairirière (9 personnages)» notably went for $ 1,060,777 while a lifetime cast fetched almost double that amount also in Drouot in June 1988.