A Tale of Two Monkeys: Adventures in the Art World by Anthony Speelman

A Tale of Two Monkeys: Adventures in the Art World by Anthony Speelman

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These memoirs cover a lifetime of dealing in Old Masters at the very highest level. Speelman’s career started under the guidance of his father Edward, whose own biography has much to tell. Over the years, Speelman has sold paintings to many of the world’s greatest collectors, including Norton Simon, Paul Mellon, Baron Thyssen, Harold Samuel, Charles Clore and the Wrightsmans in New York, along with world renowned museums such as the Getty, the Louvre and the National Gallery, London, among many others. 

The two monkeys in the title refer to two paintings of a monkey holding a peach by George Stubbs, the outstanding English animal painter. Anthony describes how he discovered one of these masterpieces as a ‘sleeper’ in a Sotheby’s sale. Early in his career Anthony’s rooms in Piccadilly were broken into and a number of paintings stolen, including a George Stubbs painting of a spaniel. An intriguing tale follows, ending with the paintings recovered some eighteen months later after a failed blackmail attempt on the part of the thieves.

The book is beautifully illustrated with examples of works that have passed through the author’s hands. The wide range of illustrations is not limited to Dutch art and includes works by Canaletto, Stubbs, Raphael, Tiepolo, Melendez and other Old Masters.

  • Publisher: Paul Holberton Publishing Ltd
  • ISBN: 9781913645304
  • Number of pages: 200
  • Dimensions: 240 x 170 mm