A picture by Dutch contemporary artist Jan Schoonhoven was stolen from the Van Bommel Van Dam museum in Venlo, south-eastern Netherlands on the 22nd of March, 2013. The London-based Art Loss Register – the largest international database of stolen art – was immediately notified of the theft.
The disappearance of the white rectangular work designated ‘R69-32’ (the year it was created followed by a serial number) left the ALR and Dutch police scratching their heads.
Jan Schoonhoven, R69-32.
That was until the picture was auctioned by Sotheby’s in London on the 27th of June for £182,500 ($285,000).
Schoonhoven expert, Paul van Rosmalen was the first to spot the deception. Described as “cunningly disguised”, the picture had simply been turned on its side and the serial number altered from 32 to 39.
This is obviously not a work by Thomas Chippendale.