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Time to fact check the Hathaway Heist Part Two (click here to read). So, I called the Chairman at Freeman's Auctioneers.

I spoke with Samuel 'Beau' Freeman the 2nd. I asked him if he'd managed to find the time to read the Hathaway Heist Part Two, and if there was any comment which he would like to share with us on the ‘Frans Huard’ painting stolen from Hathaway House, which, as we've all read, was indeed sold through his auction house in 1995?


"No comment" I was told.


I pointed out to Mr. Freeman, that we would like to paint Freeman's as white as possible in this scenario. A painting had been stolen, and that stolen painting was sold through their auction house. So I asked if he could provide the information on the consigner of the painting in order that we could all assist in getting this work back to its original owners, or at least the daughter of the original owner. This request didn't seem to go down to well. Mr. Freeman’s response was tardy, and quite unhelpful. He pointed out that he would only give up this information if required to do so by law, and that Freeman's Auctioneers do not give out information on consignors or buyers.

But hang on just a minute, this painting is 100% stolen and was 100% sold through his auction house, so surely he must want to assist in recovering this work and placing it back in the hands of its rightful owners, the Showers family? In addition, surely he should be calling the police himself on this matter?

"Get a court order” he said.

Even nicer.

I persisted, and asked Mr. Freeman what he thought of his Chief Operating Officer saying that law enforcement hadn't been in touch about this painting.

AAD "Have Law Enforcement been in touch about this painting"

SBF2 "I've been here since 1958, and I don't re-collect anyone from Law enforcement being in touch. "

AAD "So law enforcement have never been in touch?"

SBF2 "Are you trying to put words in my mouth?"

AAD "No I'm not, I'm just asking a simple question which you don't seem to want to answer"

SBF2 "I don't recollect anyone from Law enforcement being in touch"

AAD "And that is your answer"

SBF2 "Yes"

Mr. Freeman then went on to say that Alex Boyle had "bullied" the COO into saying "no", and I read out the e-mail, which was sent, and published in the Hathaway Heist Part Two.

See below:


I'm still unsure of quite what Mr. Freeman was getting at. If Alex had bullied Hanna Dougher into saying "no", which, from the e-mail in the image above, is clearly a wrong interpretation, then why join in and say, "I don't recollect anyone from Law enforcement being in touch". Would Alex really have to bully an answer out of someone, if the correct answer was "no"? Or, is this now turning into a group message from Freeman's Auction House? I.e. if anyone calls about the ‘Frans Huard’ painting, everyone say they 'have no recollection of Law enforcement being in touch', is that Freeman's Auctioneers message here? Is that the comment?

In light of the fact that this painting is 100% proven stolen, it becomes fairly obvious to me, that this auction house in particular are quite willing to be obstructive and unhelpful when it comes to assisting an elderly lady in reclaiming her family heirlooms. And by continuing to act in this manner, they are sticking up for a dirty consignor. So where is the clear title here, did they check, have they checked? Sorry Mr. Freeman, head in the sand just won't do. If auction houses like yours, sell stolen goods, then, they must be prepared to face the music. The Google train cometh…
As an aside, Mr. Freeman did say that the 'Hathaway Heist Part two' article was almost libelous. Well, if it's libelous, come and get us, Mr. Freeman. The facts are, that your auction house is siding up with a dirty consignor, and is quite possibly siding up with what is fast becoming a dirty looking art loss data base, which, I might add, is owned by auction houses.

As a final thought for Mr. Samuel ‘Beau’ Freeman the 2nd, law enforcement did visit Freeman's Auctioneers; and they did manage to squeeze out the name out of the consignor. So, during this evening's conversation, Samuel ‘Beau’ Freeman libels his own company reputation, with such obvious factually challenged statements. And yet, after making such a statement he produces no facts, or corrects so-called errors made in the article. His defence is based upon lies, or carefully parsed statements, which when challenged, produce this line:

"Are you trying to put words in my mouth?"

No Mr. Freeman, just an honest answer for once

Elliot Lee


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You may also like to read:

* The Rabbi Jewelry Score :: Inside The Mind Of A Professional Jewelry Thief

* Inside The Mind Of A Professional Jewelry Thief :: A Midtown Jewelry Score

* Bad Guys Bedevil The Art Market

* Hathaway Heist - pt 1

* Hathaway Heist Part Two

About the Author

Elliot Lee

Elliot Lee

Elliot Lee founded his antique business in 1994. Having bought his first Antique piece at the tender age of eleven, it has since then been his passion for Antiques, Fine Art, and aesthetically beautif...