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THE EDIT

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Looking Back at 2017

Mon Dec 18, 2017

It has been a busy and exciting year at Philip Mould & Co., with a number of discoveries, sales and loans to major institutions, both within the UK and abroad, not to mention a major in-house exhibition.

Early in the year, we announced the discovery of a significant historical portrait depicting ambassador Yermisekiz Çelebi Mehmed Efendi(d.1732). Mehmed Efendi was the first formal Ottoman ambassador to be received at the French court, and happily this portrait, painted by Pierre Gobert (1662-1744) in 1724, has returned to the Palace of Versailles on loan for the current Visitors to Versailles exhibition.

A fruitful spring included the sale of our portrait of Sybil Cholmondeley, Countess of Rocksavage (1894-1989) by Charles Sims RA (1873-1928) to the Grosvenor Museum, Cheshire; the loan of Bowl of Figs by Vanessa Bell (1879-1961) to the first exhibition dedicated solely to the artist at Dulwich Picture Gallery; and our set of studies for The Muses of the Arts of Sciences, intriguing collaborative works by Bell and Duncan Grant (1885-1978), journeyed to King's College, Cambridge for a feature in The World of Interiors magazine.

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Photography by Antony Crolla for The World of Interiors magazine; Philip Mould & Co.'s stand at Masterpiece Fair 2017.

In late June we exhibited at Masterpiece Fair in the south grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, selling a number of works to private and public collections, including a rare signed portrait by Pieter Cornelisz van Slingelandt (1640-91) to the Cleveland Museum of Art. We were also pleased to see our flirtatious portrait of an unknown lady by Mary Beale (1633-99) find a new home at the National Gallery of Victoria.

Over the summer, Fake or Fortune? returned for its sixth series. This year the team authenticated works by John Constable RA (1776-1837), Paul Gauguin (1848-1903), and even went to Australia to investigate a painting by Tom Roberts (1856-1931).

In the latter half of the year, Philip Mould & Co. staged a major exhibition focusing on the work of society portrait painter Sir Oswald Birley MC (1880-1952). The exhibition was the largest show dedicated to Birley’s work since his retrospective in 1951 and was a huge success, attracting the attention of the national press and over 1,200 visitors.

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Installation shots from Power & Beauty: The Art of Sir Oswald Birley at Philip Mould & Cop. this autumn; press cuttings from The Mayfair Times, Homes & Antiques magazine, and Apollo magazine.

In November we unveiled a recently discovered portrait of Vice-Admiral Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson KB (1758-1805). The portrait was painted shortly after the Battle of Nile and is a startlingly honest portrayal of the British hero. The work was displayed in the gallery as part of a pop-up exhibition and was displayed alongside a new replica of Nelson’s spectacular diamond Chelengk, which Nelson wears on his bicorne hat in our portrait.

With a number of ambitious projects already underway, 2018 is set to be another exciting year here at Philip Mould & Company, and we look forward to sharing these with you in the New Year. Merry Christmas!

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