Auction Houses like Christie's, Sotheby's and Swann operate completely differently than most other businesses, in part due to the fact they usually deal in one of a kind items, many of dubious provenance. If you ever have attended an auction, you'll know that buyer beware is the law of the land. The auctions houses may state that such and such a work is by Egon Schiele, or whomever, but that's just an attribution. Basically, they are saying it is the best guest they can make that a certain person produced that work. The attributions are not guarantees, or statements of authenticity. All people bidding in auctions, are assumed to experts, or acting on the advice of experts. Once the hammer is down, if you have the highest bid, it's yours, you are stuck with it. In some cases, a house may 'buy back' an item that 'isn't right', but this usually occurs quietly, and only if the buyer is a good customer. Once you run to the press you're done - the auction house won't do a thing for you. Basically, the moral here is that auctions aren't for the faint of heart, or the broke. I have no sympathy for this guy, and if he knew how the system worked, he would understand that the auction house is just the agent, and he's responsible for verification. This ain't Ebay cowboy.