Art Fan Buys "$110,000" Renoir Sketch -- Then Finds Out it's Worth Less Than Six Grand

Categories: Art Attack
If something sounds too good to be true, it usually is -- just ask Mark Teich, who got an, um, bargain when he paid a Scottsdale art dealer $43,000 for a sketch by Pierre-Auguste Renoir he claims he was told was worth $110,000.

Turns out, the sketch isn't worth $110,000. In fact, when Teich tried to get the sketch insured, he found out it wasn't worth anything close to that -- it's worth less than $6,000.

Even though Teich probably should have checked out the value of the art (with someone other than the guy selling it to him) before he paid for it, Teich is suing the Scottsdale art dealer who sold him the sketch.

Teich claims in a lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court that the seller, Dror Darel,  owner of Rima Fine Art and Custom Framing, assured him that the piece was worth $110,000.

According to the lawsuit, first obtained by Courthouse News, Darel "provided a document to Teich on Rima Fine Art letterhead entitled 'Appraisal,' stating a value of the 'painting' as $110,000 and 'museum quality, conservation framing $570 for a total value of: $110,570.'"

When Teich got the piece appraised -- again, after dropping nearly $50,000 on it -- he was told by Christie's Appraisals in New York that it "estimated the value of the artwork at $4,000-$6,000 and subsequently issued an insurance appraisal for the artwork valuing the artwork at $7,000."

Teich tried to return the sketch, but Darel refused to return his money.

Reached by phone this morning, Darel tells New Times the lawsuit is "frivolous" and will "work itself out in the courts."

Regardless of what Darel thinks, Teich is seeking at least $103,570 in compensatory damages.

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David Goldner
David Goldner

My name is David Goldner.  I am an artist that signed with Rima Fine Art last year via the con artist Dror Darel and got totally screwed by him and his x-wife partner, Tracy Penwell totally who enables and sanctions his lies and cons.  I caught them trying to sell my art for 5 times my asking price while telling me they were trying to sell them at cost to help me out.  Upon this discovery, I immediately took back my 24 canvases only to discover they had ruined 8 out of 24 of the canvases with their blatant mishandling!  Dror Darel, Tracy Penwell and Rima Fine Art are total sleaze balls and not to be trusted by any artist or any buyer!  They will lie, cheat and con anyone they can to try and make a few bucks.  I WARN ALL TO STAY AWAY FROM RIMA FINE ART AND DROR DAREL!-David Goldner

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