Sleuth: The Amazing Quest for Lost Art Treasures

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9780007281367: Sleuth: The Amazing Quest for Lost Art Treasures

CSI meets Who Do You Think You Are? meets Time Team meets The Antiques Roadshow. Two-dimensional works of art become three-dimensional thrillers.

Philip Mould is an international art dealer who has lived the high stakes game of art sleuthing for twenty years. In Sleuth, we encounter the fascinating dealers, experts, auctioneers and restorers who risk fortunes and reputations to turn overlooked artworks into coveted treasures.

Sleuth is laced with dramas:
• Gainsborough's earliest picture emerges in a Los Angeles saleroom - the author has three days to find the missing facts and decide what to pay.
• The most powerful man in the art establishment, with the influence to elevate a copy into a priceless original, is asked to look at a 'fake' Rembrandt self portrait: if he says yes a £5,000 picture turns into £5 million masterpiece.
• A Vermont professor unlocks the door of a defunct Catholic church to reveal a hidden cache of 300 portraits.
• An auctioneer notices from the upper story of a bus that Damien Hirst's restaurant is being dismantled. He swoops in and sells the fixtures and fittings for £13 million.

Sleuth is a series of stories which not only reveals the extraordinary culture of detection but the people behind it. Paintings and their discovery become a way into the minds, preoccupations and professions of a raft of influential figures beyond the commercial and museum façade - men and women who have shaped their lives in pursuit of truth and profit through art.

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Review:

Reviews of Sleepers:

'Everyone who loves history must salute Philip Mould … marvellous images have been recovered which would otherwise be lost to us.'
Lady Antonia Fraser

'Philip Mould is an arch sleuth with an uncanny ability to unearth lost art. The numerous portraits and paintings he has been responsible for bringing back to life have not only added to our artistic culture but also represent a significant addition to historical evidence and understanding. By knowing how it is done he can also brilliantly explain the techniques that others have used to achieve similar results.'
David Starkey

'This book might well be sub-titled Inspector Mould Strikes Again. Although I am not qualified even to play his Sgt Lewis, it has been my great pleasure to stand by and observe Philip Mould in action on more than one televised investigation, as he reveals to (usually) delighted owners the unsuspected history of the painting that has hung for decades over their mantelpiece or leaned against their shed wall. Mould doesn't just discover art - he makes the rest of us share the joy and excitement of it.'
Michael Aspel

From the Publisher:

Publication of the paperback to coincide with a new primetime BBC TV series called Fake or Fortune fronted by Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce all about art sleuthing. Their quest takes them to cities from New York to Cairo to unpick the clues behind stolen and contested works of art. They investigate a valuable watercolour found next to a dump, a possible Rembrandt and a 17th-century Dutch oil that could be a 20th-century fake.

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Mould, Philip
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