Bank Robbers

Henri-Horace Roland De La Porte 1724-1793
Un panier d'oeufs frais avec quelques fruits et legumes
Oil on canvas
23.9 x 29.8 cm

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It was a quiet Autumn Monday morning at my old Notting Hill gallery, when the door opened and in walked two men who were far removed in appearance from my usual clientele . One well dressed in long black frock coat with mink lapels and sporting winkle pickers, Brylcreemed locks, side-burns and a very long cigarette holder. His ‘side-kick’ presented the sartorial opposite: tight jeans, tea-shirt, no hair but many a colourful tattoo upon his muscle bound arms. The resemblance to George Cole and Dennis Waterman in the BBC’s “Minder’ of the 70’s was uncanny!

They were perfectly polite and correct and asked the price of an Italian seventeenth century still life. They declined the invitation to have coffee but agreed on the still life price of four thousand pounds dolling out five hundred pounds as a deposit in crisp brand new notes. ‘George’ (as we will call him) assured me that they would return within two weeks to settle the bill but I would, of course, keep the painting as security...

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