Heritage Auctions Asks Dallas Federal Judge: Tell Us Who Owns John Quincy Adams Letters
|John Quincy Adams by Ed Alstrom, 2003|
Says Heritage in the suit filed at the Earle Cabell on Thursday, in July a California man named Bradley Mugar brought to Heritage the two letters, for which the auction house paid him an advance of $28,000. Heritage then put the missives in its 2011 September Beverly Hills Signature Historical Manuscripts Auction, which featured, among other things, John Hancock's John Hancock and Daniel Boone's signature on a surveying agreement. But only days before the auction, an attorney repping Dr. David Light of Palm Beach sent Heritage a letter insisting those were his historical docs up for grabs on the auction house's website and that they "were stolen from him."
On September 8, four days before the auction was to start, Heritage pulled the letters. Now it wants to know: Does Murgar really own 'em, or are they Light's after all? Because if it's the former, Heritage wants to hang on to them till Mugar repays the $28,000, plus 18 percent in interest per annum beginning last July. And if they're Light's, then Heritage just wants its money and its interest, and will be happy to give the doctor back his history. Heritage was kind enough to send a photo of one of the letters, which is also on the other side, but the company's policy is not to comment on pending court cases.
|Courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries|
|Click to enlarge one of two John Quincy Adams letters at the center of a lawsuit filed last week in Dallas federal court.|