Henry Kravis Does NOT Own World’s Ugliest, Most Expensive Chair (Updated)

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Photo: Everett Bogue; Photos: Getty Images, Patrick McMullan, Courtesy of Christie's

Last month, when Eileen Gray's Dragon Chair sold for $28.5 million at an auction of Yves St. Laurent's belongings, we had two thoughts: The first was, "Hey, if people are still continuing to buy insanely overpriced crap at auctions, then maybe the economy is not as bad as everyone says it is?" The second was: "Holy crap, who would spend that much money on a chair that looks like someone's diseased molar?"

And now we think we know the answer! To the second question, anyway.

The Economist, in tracking the purchases at the auction, reveals the following information:

Cheska Vallois, an Art Deco dealer, won the work in the room; it is thought that she did so on behalf of Henry and Marie-José Kravis, who had already acquired examples of Gray’s work from Ms Vallois at the Biennale des Antiquaires in Paris.


Fascinating! If it was indeed Kravis that bought it, it was probably only because he really loved it. Otherwise, it could look kind of bad, him spending that much on a hideous chair just a few days before telling his public shareholders their stock is about to lose about 90 percent of its value. And this being "a very sobering time" and all.

Update: Oh, but we were wrong. Kravis didn't buy the chair. The Economist posted a correction and a spokesman for Kravis sent us the following statement: "Contrary to speculation, I can categorically deny that neither Henry Kravis, nor anyone in his family, nor any dealer acting on his behalf, purchased the chair."

Which means: The owner is of the World's Ugliest Chair is STILL OUT THERE. Who can it be?

The Yves St. Laurent Sale [Economist via Gawker]