StampNews.com got to know that a well-known sheikh failed to pay on a US$7.5 million winning bid before he died in November, according to court papers.
Sheik Al-Thani, a member of Qatar's ruling family, won a June auction of "extremely rare and valuable" stamps from the estate of John E. du Pont known as the "British Guiana collection".
The sheik had such a reputation as a high-end art collector that the auction house departed from its protocol, agreeing to let him pay off the bid in monthly installments, David Feldman Stamp Auctions says in a lawsuit.
Based in part on recommendations from other auction houses, Feldman "reasonably believed that Sheik Al-Thani had the capability and intention of paying for any items he might purchase", according to the Manhattan federal suit.
But the sheik ended up renegotiating the terms, forked over a down payment of $872,000 and failed to make any of the subsequent payments before his Nov. 9 death at the age of 48.
Feldman is suing the sheik's estate as well as Sotheby's Financial Services, which holds $83 million worth of the sheik's valuables as collateral for a nearly $30 million loan.