A diverse offering twixt the interesting, the unusual, and the amusing.
Tuesday, 17 April 2018
Peter the Con and The China Shop.
A genuine Chinese antique bronze ceremonial bowl.
You meet all sorts of rogues in the Antiques business. Resting actors, small-time crooks, lost souls; any old wide-boy can turn-up under the guise of an 'antique dealer'.
In my own case I'd been managing a small West End art gallery, and was invited to join Justin de V in his antiques/interiors Co. I was brought into the fold as the 'Art Expert' (ahem). Justin soon went off to manage young Twiggy, so I then set-up on my own.
There were some wonderful people around in mid-60's Chelsea, one of whom was a rather murky character known as 'Peter the Con'. His 'girlfriend' was a chunky, very well known, 50-something, resting TV actress, who used to knock him about; he seemed to like it.
Anyway, dear Peter came under the 'lost soul' category, and seemed to have no ambition or goal in life; he just 'lived'.
His claim to fame was that he bought very convincing bits of brand-new 'antique style' Chinese bronzes from The China Shop (that used to be up by Marble Arch), and expelled his copious daily intake of beer over them each evening when he returned home (there were usually a dozen or so bronzes, all lined-up outside his back door).
After a few months they changed from looking brand new to looking several hundred years old, and were sold on as such; gaining a considerable mark-up. It made him a meagre living, and no doubt many Peter the Con antique Chinese bronzes are still around in treasured collections.
I wonder what happened to him? Maybe some disgruntled client pissed on him from a great height, and he died of his own verdigris poisoning; or maybe his pugilistic girlfriend finished him off!
The difference between an optimist and a pessimist, is that the optimist enjoys himself whilst waiting for the inevitable! I AM that optimist!
This is a daily, optimistic, 'photos and comments' blog. I make no judgements (only occasionally), just notes. If you wish to comment in any way at all, please feel free. Everything and everyone (except the obdurate and dictatorial) is very welcome.
I was born just south of London, but for the past 50 years I've lived in S W France. I am a painter by profession, and writer by desire. Lady Magnon and I live between an ancient cottage in a tiny village in perfectly tranquil French countryside, and a bijou townhouse in Brighton UK. In France we have plenty of fruit trees, all situated amongst a view that takes the breath away, in the UK we have a handkerchief sized patio. We also have a Border Collie called Billy. I try to treat our planet with respect, and encourage others to do likewise (without preaching).
Contentment is a glass of red, a plate of charcuterie, and a slice of good country bread. Perfect!