The Art Detective

The Art Detective

Fakes, Frauds, and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures

Book - 2010
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"There is something addictive about Ebay...But how do you know what's undervalued? How can you tell the difference between a priceless masterpiece and a piece of junk? Philip Mould, one of the stars of the original Antiques Roadshow, has been so successful in uncovering buried treasures that the media has dubbed him 'the art detective'. Now, at last, he lets us in on his secrets. Each chapter revolves around a particular painting and the people who helped unmask its identity: a Norman Rockwell faked by an amateur artist from Vermont trapped in a messy divorce ; a Winslow Homer watercolor the mysteriously found its way to a dump in Ireland; a Rembrandt self-portrait disguised by so many layers of overpainting that it was unrecognizable; a long-lost Gainsborough that Mould spotted misidentified at an auction in L.A."--Dust jacket flap.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2010.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780670021857
Call Number: 702.88 MOULD
Characteristics: 261 p., [16] p. of plates ; 22 cm
Subjects: Homer, Winslow, 1836-1910.
Rockwell, Norman, 1894-1978 -- Forgeries.
Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, 1606-1669.
Gainsborough, Thomas, 1727-1788.
Art -- Provenance.
Art -- Forgeries.
Art -- Expertising -- Anecdotes.
Art -- Expertising.


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Dec 22, 2012

The title is a bit misleading - Mould deals with only one forgery in any depth. The book is more about the thrill of the hunt - finding, researching & bidding on intriguing artworks, then watching them come alive under the restorer's care. I learned a bit about the auction process (I was surprised that one auction house let him have a redo when it transpired that they had inadvertently inflated the price by having him bid against his own agent). Mould is clearly passionate about British portraiture, a genre often overlooked on this side of the Atlantic, and is an appealing guide to the art world.


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