Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Colin Wilson's monkey saga ends quietly

Golding Young Auctioneers, Grantham

The final chapter in the story of 'The Colin Wilson Monkeys' ended quietly on July 30 when they sold at auction for an unspectacular £25,000.

The late Lincolnshire dealer Colin Wilson dedicated over ten years to research and champion the authenticity of two small bronze monkeys that he bought at Essex saleroom Sworders in the 1990s for a few hundred pounds.Mr Wilson believed they were from Giambologna's fountain of Samson and a Philistine erected in Florence c.1569 and later moved to the gardens of Aranjuez, south of Madrid.

Grantham auctioneer Colin Young championed the course of the monkeys and before opening the bidding on July 30, he stressed that he was selling simply 'a bronze monkey' without reserve. Bidding for the first monkey concluded quickly at £12,500, with the successful commission bidder choosing to take its pair at the same price.

Mr Young concluded the sale with the poignant words "The price does not equate to the cost" - a reference to the enormous time and energy Colin Wilson had expended in his attempt to prove he had discovered a masterpiece.

Golding Young

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