An art dealer's nightmare

September 12 2016

Image of An art dealer's nightmare

Picture: via Wikipedia. Courbet's "Desperate Man" self-portrait.

There are few things more boring than other people's dreams. But last night I dreamt a shocker. I'd bid £20m on an unattributed painting of a teddy bear in an online auction, believing it to be a priceless, lost, life portrait of Winnie the Pooh. It turned out not to be, of course, and I was ruined. As I've often said, optimism is the art dealer's worst enemy.

Update - a reader writes:

Horrified by the nightmarish purchase, the deputy editor [my daughter] seizes the portrait of Winnie the Pooh, takes a night flight to Peru and sells it to Paddington Bear for £25m. 

Saved!

Another reader writes:

I liked your dream about Winnie the Pooh his portrait; at least someone else thought it was worth £19M.

Clearly the subject - a teddy bear - and the inflated price show a repressed desire to collect the work of Jeff Koons.

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