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Delhi Wine Club

Posted: Wednesday, 31 March 2010 17:29

Koch Sues Christie’s for the Fake Jefferson Wine

Palm Beach billionaire William Koch filed a suit against the Christie’s auction house for the allegedly fake bottle supposedly  owned by Thomas Jefferson, claiming that  they knew it was fake when it was auctioned and were in collusion with the seller against whom he has already filed a suit,

Koch paid more than $300,000 for 4 bottles supposedly  owned by the late President Thomas Jefferson. "The simple, straightforward solution to this problem was for Christie's to recognize its wine department was acting as an independent, rogue division, admit it and clean it up immediately," Koch said after filing a suit in Manhattan Federal Court on Tuesday, according to a report in the

Koch bought a 1787 Lafite Bordeaux with Thomas Jefferson's initials etched into the bottle and three other bottles supposedly from Jefferson's collection in 1988. They were sold by a German collector - but Koch says Christie's gave the lot its stamp of approval by advertising it in earlier catalogs.

The suit claims Christie's knew there were problems because a Jefferson scholar raised serious doubts in 1986. He claims he didn't have any knowledge about the bottles being fake until he was asked to showcase his wine at a Boston museum in 2005. The following year, he sued the seller, German collector Hardy Rodenstock who still insists that the wine is original and the sale was legitimate.

Says a Christie’s spokesperson reportedly, "While we have great respect for Mr. Koch, we believe the allegations in this complaint are incorrect.”


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