Alphonse Kann was a near relation of collectors Rodolphe [d. 1905] and Maurice [died c. 1907] Kann, whose had established themselves in Paris in the nineteenth century. Kann, a British citizen originally from Austria, was trained as a banker but became an art collector and dealer in pre-World War I Paris. He gathered and dispersed a succession of collections, including old master paintings, antiquities, decorative arts and impressionist paintings. A large sale, primarily of decorative arts, from the Kann collection was held at the American Art Association in New York in January 1927. During World War II a large portion of the Kann collection was confiscated by the Nazis. Kann himself fled to London, where he died in September 1948. A number of paintings which had been confiscated from his collection were recovered in Switzerland and returned to his heirs in 1949.
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