Philip Mould

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Philip Mould
Philip Mould.jpg
Born 1960
Nationality English
Alma mater University of East Anglia

Philip Jonathan Clifford Mould OBE (born 1960) is an English art dealer, writer and broadcaster.[1] He has made a number of major art discoveries, including some of Thomas Gainsborough's earliest known works,[2] the only known portrait of Prince Arthur Tudor[3] and a number of lost works by Sir Anthony Van Dyck.[4]

Mould is the author of two books on art discovery and is widely consulted by the media on the subject. He is well known for his role co-presenting the BBC television programme Fake or Fortune?, the most watched arts programme on television.[5]


Portrait of Arthur, Prince of Wales (1486–1502) reidentified by Mould

Mould was educated at Kingsmead School, Hoylake, Worth School and the University of East Anglia from where he graduated with a BA in History of Art in 1981.[6]

Mould's father owned a factory in Liverpool and his family was based in the Wirral.[7] He developed an interest in antiques at an early age, thanks to his mother. She contracted polio as a child, and was in a wheelchair so would send Philip, aged six, into antiques shops to bring things out to her for inspection.[8] Mould made friends with the owner of a local antiques shop, who taught him to read hallmarks on silver when he was just 11 or 12 years old, and by the age of 14 he was dealing in antique silver.[9]

Mould began art dealing in his early teens and has since established a leading art dealership specialising in British art, a subject on which he is internationally consulted.[10] He has sold works to public institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York),[11] National Portrait Gallery (London), Museum of Fine Arts Boston,[12] Tate,[13] The Huntington (California),[14] and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.[15]

Mould has worked as a valuer for the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Government's Acceptance in Lieu scheme. Between 1988–2010 he acted as honorary art adviser to the House of Commons and the House of Lords.[16] He is president of the charity Kids in Museums,[17] president and ex-chairman of Plantlife International,[18] a patron of Fight for Sight,[19] and a trustee and director of the Tony Banks Memorial Trust for the acquisition of historical works for museums.[20][21] Mould is also a supporter of CleanupUK, and Pond Conservation.[22] He was elected as a fellow of the Linnean Society in 2012.[23]

Mould is a regular broadcaster, reviewer and writer for the national press. His television work includes writing and presenting the Channel 4 series Changing Faces, and featuring as an expert on the Antiques Roadshow. In 2011, he began co-hosting the television programme Fake or Fortune? with Fiona Bruce.[24] Fake or Fortune? now ranks as television's most popular arts show - regularly drawing an audience of 5 million - and has an international following.[25]

In January 2014, Mould warned of the increasing prevalence of trapping in which crooked sellers misleadingly hint that fake artworks have genuine provenance, without actually making false descriptions or asserting attributions.[26]

Mould is the author of two critically acclaimed books on art discovery, which are frequently cited as the most illuminating and best told insights into the workings of the old master trade, and have been published in America, Japan and China.[27]

In recognition of his art world expertise and contribution to portrait heritage he was created OBE in the 2005 New Year Honours list.[28] For his achievements in his field, as well as his involvement with numerous charities and broadcasting, Mould received an honorary doctorate in July 2013 at his former university, the University of East Anglia.[29]

In August 2014, Mould was one of 200 public figures who were signatories to a letter to The Guardian opposing Scottish independence in the run-up to September's referendum on that issue.[30]

In October 2015 Mould appeared on BBC's Gardeners' World, in the garden of his home, discussing his passion for nature and talked of his interest in varieties of rose which would have been grown in the time of Sir Anthony van Dyck. He also discussed the work of one of his favourite artists, Cedric Morris, who was also a great plantsman.[31] Mould is a keen collector of Morris's work (for his private collection), and champions modern British artists in general; he cites the Bloomsbury Group amongst his favourites.[32]


  • Sleepers: In Search of Lost Old Masters. London: Fourth Estate. 1995. ISBN 978-1857022186. , retitled in paperback as...
  • The Trail of Lot 163: In Search of Lost Art Treasures. London: Fourth Estate. 1997. ISBN 978-1857025231. 
  • Sleuth: The Amazing Quest for Lost Art Treasures. London: HarperCollins. 2009. ISBN 978-0007281367. , retitled for US edition as...
    • The Art Detective: Fakes, Frauds and Finds and the Search for Lost Treasures. New York: Viking. 2010. ISBN 978-0670021857. 

Personal life[edit]

Philip Mould lives with his wife Catherine and son Oliver at their house in Kensington, London and a seventeenth-century manor house in Oxfordshire close to Chipping Norton.[33]


  1. ^ Mould, By Philip. "Philip Mould: why I love being a sleuth on art's treasure trail". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  2. ^ Millward, By David. "Rare Gainsborough uncovered by Antiques Roadshow presenter". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  3. ^ Mould, Philip (1997-03-13). The Trail of Lot 163: In Search of Lost Art Treasures. London: Fourth Estate. ISBN 9781857025231. 
  4. ^ Alberge, Dalya (2011-06-11). "Van Dyck paintings unearthed by saleroom sleuth". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  5. ^ "It's a copy: Fake or Fortune? stars try to halt rival show". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  6. ^ 'MOULD, Philip Jonathan Clifford', Who's Who 2014, A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc, 2014; online edn, Oxford University Press, Dec 2013
  7. ^ "My perfect weekend: Philip Mould, art sleuth". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  8. ^ "The definite article: This week it's host Philip Mould". Mail Online. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  9. ^ "My perfect weekend: Philip Mould, art sleuth". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  10. ^ Bennett, Will (12 June 2006). "Telegraph 12 June 2006". Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  11. ^ "John Vanderbank, the younger | Self-Portrait | The Met". The Metropolitan Museum of Art, i.e. The Met Museum. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  12. ^ "Portrait of a Lady as a Shepherdess". Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. 2017-02-05. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  13. ^ Tate. ""Portrait of the Artist's Son, Jonathan Richardson the Younger, in his Study", Jonathan Richardson c.1734 | Tate". Tate. Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  14. ^ "Portrait of a Young Child – Works – The Huntington Art Collections Online Catalog". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  15. ^ "The Art Fund, 'Art Saved'". Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  16. ^ Bennett, Will (19 March 2001). "Telegraph 19 March 2001". Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  17. ^ "Kids in Museums website". Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Plantlife International website". Archived from the original on 4 May 2012. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  19. ^ "Philip Mould OBE joins Fight for Sight as patron – Fight for Sight". 2013. Archived from the original on 25 March 2014. Retrieved 19 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Tony Banks Memorial Trust". Archived from the original on 26 September 2011. 
  21. ^ "The Tony Banks Memorial Trust Limited - Company Information - Endole". 2015. Retrieved 4 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "Pond Conservation website". Archived from the original on 3 December 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "The Linnean Society website". Retrieved 31 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "Fake or Fortune?". BBC Online. Retrieved 4 June 2013. 
  25. ^ "It's a copy: Fake or Fortune? stars try to halt rival show". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  26. ^ Copping, Jasper (12 January 2014). "Art experts warn of the rise of the 'trappers'". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  27. ^ Reid, By Aileen. "Sleuth: The Amazing Quest for Lost Art Treasures by Philip Mould: review". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  28. ^ "The British Theatre Guide: New Year Honours List 2005". 4 January 2005. Archived from the original on 22 January 2005. Retrieved 6 May 2011. 
  29. ^ "UEA to honour notable alumni at its 50th anniversary graduation". University of East Anglia. 21 May 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  30. ^ "Celebrities' open letter to Scotland – full text and list of signatories | Politics". 2014-08-07. Retrieved 26 June 2014. 
  31. ^ "BBC Two - Gardeners' World, 2015, Episode 29". 9 October 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 
  32. ^ "My perfect weekend: Philip Mould, art sleuth". Retrieved 2017-02-14. 
  33. ^ Period Property. "BBC presenter Philip Mould's Duck End house, Oxfordshire". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 9 October 2015. 

External links[edit]