Leaf v International Galleries [1950] 2 KB 86, [1950] 1 All ER 693

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All England Law Reports/1950/Volume 1 /Leaf v International Galleries – [1950] 1 All ER 693

[1950] 1 All ER 693

Leaf v International Galleries

COURT OF APPEAL

SIR RAYMOND EVERSHED MR, DENNING AND JENKINS LJJ

28 FEBRUARY, 1 MARCH 1950

David Weitzman for the buyer.

John Perrett and K G Jupp for the sellers.

1 March 1950. The following judgments were delivered.

SIR RAYMOND EVERSHED MR.

I will ask Denning LJ to deliver the first judgment.

DENNING LJ.

In March, 1944, the buyer bought from the sellers an oil painting of Salisbury Cathedral. On the back of the picture there was a label indicating that it had been exhibited as a Constable, and during the negotiations for the purchase the sellers represented that it was a painting by Constable. That representation, the judge has found, was incorporated as one of the terms of the contract. The receipt for the price, £85, was given in these terms: “6 March 1944. One original oil painting Salisbury Cathedral by J Constable, £85.” Nearly five years later the buyer was minded to sell the picture. He took it to Christie’s to be put into an auction, and he was then advised that it was not a Constable. So he took it back to the sellers and told them he wanted to return it and get his money back. They did take the picture back temporarily for investigation, and they still adhered to the view that it was a Constable. Eventually the buyer brought a claim in the county court claiming rescission of the contract. In his particulars of claim he pleaded that the picture had been represented to be a Constable, and that he had paid £85 in reliance on that representation. The sellers resisted the claim. After hearing expert evidence the judge found as a fact, and this must be accepted, that the painting was not by Constable and was worth little.

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