This property identifies an instance of E39 Actor that is or had been the legal owner (i.e., title holder) of an instance of E18 Physical Thing at some time.
The distinction with P52 has current owner (is current owner of) is that P51 has former or current owner (is former or current owner of) does not indicate whether the specified owners are current.
This property is a shortcut for the more detailed path from E18 Physical Thing through P24i changed ownership through, E8 Acquisition, P23 transferred title from, or P22 transferred title to to E39 Actor.
The paintings from the Iveagh Bequest (E78) has former or current owner Lord Iveagh (E21). (Bryant, 1990)