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Phillip Mould OBE

 

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

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.

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.

Mould's father owned a factory in Liverpool and his family was based in the Wirral. 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. 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.

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. He has sold works to public institutions such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), National Portrait Gallery (London), Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Tate, The Huntington (California), and the Royal Albert Memorial Museum.

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. He is president of the charity Kids in Museums, president and ex-chairman of Plantlife International, a patron of Fight for Sight, and a trustee and director of the Tony Banks Memorial Trust for the acquisition of historical works for museums. Mould is also a supporter of CleanupUK, and Pond Conservation. He was elected as a fellow of the Linnean Society in 2012.

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.

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

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

In recognition of his art world expertise and contribution to portrait heritage he was created OBE in the 2005 New Year Honours list. 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.

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.

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. 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.

Collectables Signed By Phillip Mould OBE