Friday, September 7, 2018

"How a Sneaky Furniture Expert Ripped Off the Rich and Tricked Versailles"

VF:

It was Hooreman who realized the chairs were new constructions, initially because he recognized in them the handiwork of Pallot’s gilder and carver. “I often use the same people on restorations, and I’m intimate with their strengths and weaknesses,” Hooreman says. He knew that one of them, for example, was fond of painting a coat of melted-down licorice on the surface of reproductions, to make new wood look old and dirty. In 2012, Hooreman saw a pair of ployants—folding benches—that were for sale in the Aaron gallery showroom and were billed as the onetime property of Princess Louise Élisabeth, the eldest daughter of King Louis XV, and acted on a hunch. “I licked the chair and voilà,” he says. “I could taste the fraud.”