Home / Section: Auctions
Christies pulls cartoon auction due to hate laws
An early cartoon (1903) by Henry Mayo Bateman will not be auctioned off by Christies after a Jewish amateur antiques dealer complained. The cartoon depicts a man with bearded Jewish man with a skull-cap with talon-like fingers and a tail. The auction house consulted with Scotland yard to see if the auction would violate a 2006 Religious Hatred Act.
The complainant, an amateur art collector who did not want to be named, said: “I was thumbing through the catalogue when I came across this drawing.
“It looked like it had come out of the pages of Der St”urmer (the virulently anti-Semitic Nazi publication). I found it utterly nauseating that Christies would include this seriously as a lot for sale or than anyone would want to pay money for it.”
A spokeswoman for Christie’s said: “After discussion with the vendor, the item was withdrawn from sale.”
As repulsive as the cartoon may be to some, I can’t help to look at it as a period piece that has some historical merit and Christies should be free to auction it. If the offended collector is offended, he shouldn’t buy it.