United Kingdom

Hue-Williams stock offered in private sale

Dealer only bought back some of his stock from administrators, and the remainder is now being offered in a sealed-bid sale, with no reserves or price guides

London. Stock from the now-defunct company Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art Limited is being offered by private treaty sale with Charterfields asset consultants in a sealed-bid sale, with no reserves on artworks or price guides.

The Art Newspaper understood in December (Issue 208, p49) that Hue-Williams had bought back his stock, but Hue-Williams said that he had “only bought some of the stock from the defunct company—they are selling [other works].” He added: “If the balance of the stock doesn’t find another buyer in this process then they will probably come back to me again—but they are in control of this process, not me. It’s out of my hands.”

Roger Cutting, the Charterfields agent handling the sale on behalf of the administrators, said: “When this case started we were able to come to terms with Michael in terms of stock he wanted to buy back, and what he wanted to pay for it against valuation.” He added: “Michael was able to offer a premium price for a bulk of the stock to continue an art business. He has links with these artists, so in many ways, he is the best placed to own [it].” Geoffrey Martin & Co, the liquidators of Michael Hue-Williams Fine Art Limited, declined to comment.

Hue-Williams confirmed that he is trading under the company name Albion Editions, and is working with artists including the Campana brothers, but said: “I think it would be inappropriate at this stage for me to say what I am planning, until the historic problems [of the gallery] are removed.” Though he is not legally obliged, Hue-Williams said he intends to pay back creditors, saying: “My reputation is at stake, so we are in that process now—we’re probably 70% clear and should be finished in a couple of months. We’re nearly at the point where we can move forwards in a productive way.” He declined to comment on plans to re-open his gallery.

Several of the outstanding creditors confirmed that Hue-Williams is making steps towards paying back debts. “He is doing it bit by bit as he makes private sales. We’re in amiable negotiations,” said picture-framer Simon Beaugie, who has received a “small amount” of the £56,266 he was initially owed. “Michael has said all along that he intended to pay back his creditors,” said John Martin, outgoing director of Art Dubai, which was owed around £46,000. “I am not expecting this to be a fast process but if he can pull it off I’d have the greatest respect for him,” adding: “It’s one of those businesses where things can go wrong for people."

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