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Gundlach to offer even larger reward for $10 million of stolen art

September 24, 2012|By Joe Bel Bruno
  • Jeffrey Gundlach will offer a new reward for the return of art stolen from his Santa Monica home.
Jeffrey Gundlach will offer a new reward for the return of art stolen from… (Jin Lee /Bloomberg )

Star bond trader Jeffrey Gundlach will announce a new, potentially momentous reward for the safe recovery of a trove of art stolen earlier this month from his Santa Monica residence, a person familiar with the matter said.

The founder of DoubleLine Capital is currently offering $200,000 for the return of art that includes works by Mondrian, Joseph Cornell, Jasper Johns and Richard Diebenkorn. The new reward, which will be announced at a 1 p.m. news conference on Monday, is expected to be among the highest paid for stolen art, the person said.

The record for a proposed reward is $5 million, offered by the Gardner Museum in Boston for information leading to the recovery of 13 artworks, with an estimated value of more than $300 million, stolen in 1990. Other major art rewards can be seen here, along with the FBI's list of the top 10 art heists. 

Gundlach will make the award for tips that lead to the safe return of his pieces, said the person who was not authorized to speak publicly. The investing titan is not seeking the conviction or arrest of anyone, the person said.

The stolen haul included one-of-a-kind art, including paintings by artist Richard Diebenkorn, Impressionist Guy Rose and landscape artist Hanson Duvall Puthuff. There were also abstract Expressionists in the mix, including Franz Kline and Philip Guston.

Among the rare pieces taken were two wood boxes, entitled "Medici Princess" and "Pinturicchio Boy," by Joseph Cornell. Gundlach told The Times last week that the pieces are "extremely intellectual," noting that art students study both the paintings and the box construction for their meaning.

Also stolen was Mondrian's "Composition (A) en Rouge et Blanc," an oil on canvas. Gundlach said it is "extraordinarily rare to begin with, but very few are as elegant and in the type of condition [as this one is]. You can wait years before any Mondrian comes to sale."

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