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Sotheby's did what?! That's no way to treat a gentleman.

Those of us who run modest antiques establishments take some small comfort when antiques professionals of note make mistakes.  It's not that we enjoy hearing about the misfortunes of others, it's more the reinforcement of the idea that anyone can make a mistake.  We do our best and carry on.

Of course, there are mistakes and then there are...um...mistakes.  Take the current dishy news item reported in the Telegraph and now being Twittered all over the world.  Florida socialite Aila Goodlin is suing the auction house, claiming that not only did they negligently damage a  portrait of Robert Cecil she had entrusted to them (rather a nice one, by Dutch artist John de Critz - the sort of thing you don't want to leave hanging about [no puns intended] to be warped and worn) but, the lawsuit asserts, they then wrote a backdated document describing alleged existing damage.  Ohdearohdearohdear.

The Telegraph (UK) 14 February 2011 quotes Diana Phillips of Sotheby's as saying “Sotheby’s was not responsible for any damage done to the painting while it was in Sotheby’s possession [really?] and we believe the lawsuit to be meritless.”

All righty, then. Here come the judge...Here come the judge...(some of you are old enough to get that).