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Fake or Fortune sparks controversy

Updated: May 13, 2019

On 12 August, BBC1 broadcast the first programme in Series 7 of Fake or Fortune, focusing their attentions on William Nicholson, describing him as one of the leading artists of his generation. The team examined a painting called Glass Jug with Pears that had been purchased as a William Nicholson from Browse & Darby, a London gallery with close historical connections to William Nicholson. They presented their evidence to Patricia Reed, the author of the definitive work on Nicholson, William Nicholson : Catalogue Raisonné of the Oil Paintings and she wrote to Fake or Fortune with her conclusions. Fiona Bruce read from Patricia Reed's letter, 'I regret to inform you that I do not find there is sufficient evidence to attribute this work to William Nicholson. Although there are a number of aspects to the painting that link the physical board and paint with William Nicholson and his studio, there is nothing that gives any direct evidence that he actually executed the work himself'.


The National Gallery of Canada's discussion may be read here


The mysteries surrounding the painting remain unresolved.




10 Comments


Meera Yadav
Meera Yadav
Mar 16

OMG this is outrageous that this one person so called art expert Patricia Reed gets to decide that science and forensic evidence doesn't matter. That she is a better judge than Lillian who has direct knowledge of the painter's work as a friend.

I have tried to get information on this expert on William Nicholson's work but to my astonishment have found nothing. When you compare the experience an reputation of Lillian the art expert on Nicholson's works to this self asserted expert Patricia Reed who has no work history to be found under her name it's absurd that she disputing the solid evidence of science and a backing of an art expert like Lillian.

I think this Patricia Reed…

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Air Crew
Air Crew
Nov 28, 2023

The painting is authentic. Patricia Reed is a fake.

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Jyrki Muona
Jyrki Muona
Oct 19, 2023

An art world with this kind of "authentication" based on a single person's "views" is worthless. An outsider with knowledge of scientific methods understands immediately that this painting was painted by Nicholson, not a phantom person invented to save Ms Reed's face. I am convinced she did it on purpose, fully knowing she had made a mistake and thinking - perhaps correctly - that her reputation was at stake.

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donna
Oct 10, 2023

I have left my comments on this episode, but I have to add that there might be a possibility of an explanation of her seemingly illogical decision. Could it be that she herself was compromised by a painting she acquired painted by one of the students she claims could have painted the picture? The lack of any logical reason suggests this possibility

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juliehodgson
May 16, 2023

I fear Ms. Reed declined to admit, the painting was genuine because she wanted to save face... Sad really.

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william nicholson artist uk
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