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17


it had a paltry estimate, Mould tells me. He declines to say exactly how much he paid, but does reveal the figure was only in the ‘high hundreds, low thousands’. Earlier this year Mould spoke of his ambition to sell the miniature to the Louvre, presumably at an appropriate markup. Has the Parisian institution bitten? ‘We have agreed terms with an overseas institution and will be announcing it in a couple of months’ time subject to getting the appropriate export licence,’ he says. All very interesting, but as every Antiques Roadshow fan knows, the only question that matters is how much? Naturally, the Fake or Fortune star is isn’t telling. But Hedgehog can report that a Decourt portrait – of a lady, likely to be an unidentified female courtier – was sold by Christie’s in 2016 for £785,000. Furthermore, it was merely ‘attributed’ to Decourt, rather than signed by him. With all that, one can only imagine that Mould will be laughing all the way to the banque.


ASK LUXURY PROPERTY developer Niccolò Barattieri di San Pietro if he’s worried about the pandemic fuelling an exodus of HNWs from London and you expect a bullish response. After all, the Northacre CEO’s projects include transforming the former New Scotland Yard home of the Metropolitan Police in Westminster. ‘I remind people of what happened when the telephone was invented,’ Barattieri di San Pietro tells Spear’s. ‘Everyone said, “Well, this is the end of cities, everyone’s going to move away because you don’t have to see each other.” Exactly the opposite happened.’ As for reports that the capital’s population is falling as Londoners seek out green open spaces, he says: ‘People have missed people more than trees. London has 3,000 parks and 25,000 acres of green space.’ The developer also offers a final riposte to prime central London sceptics: ‘If someone had said to me, “There is going to be a pandemic, we’re all going to be at home for a year and no one will be able to travel,” I would expect London prices to come down. But they haven’t – in some boroughs they’ve gone up.’


Red leather day


Savile Row tailor Richard Anderson, who celebrates 20 years in business this year, has come up with an eye-catching piece to wow his customers – a daring new single-button coat in soft Ferrari red Napa leather. ‘It took a couple of times to get there but I’m delighted with it,’ says Anderson. ‘I’ve had a couple of orders and I know my customers will love it.’ Most


people will opt for the jacket in blue or black or brown. ‘I don’t think we will have many red sales,’ he laughs. ‘Maybe in China.’


OH SWISS BANKERS, where are you? The London corporate relocation market has ‘completely shut down’, according to sage buying agent Jonathan Hopper at Garrington, who notes: ‘They disappeared in March and haven’t been seen since.’ Alas Hopper doesn’t see things getting better until the summer, and even then the market won’t come back fully as companies can now cover 80 per cent of their jobs online. ‘If the global mobility market doesn’t return to the same volumes, that is going to have a big effect on the London rental values,’ he warns. Could it really be permanent? Eccord’s Jo Eccles – busy relocating Goldman Sachs’ bankers to London when Hedgehog calls – disagrees. ‘Demand hasn’t died, it’s just been deferred,’


says Eccles, who assures me it’ll be business as usual in 2022.


Cox’s family turn


Having won a Golden Globe as media mogul Logan Roy, Succession actor Brian Cox is a perhaps unlikely star of the micro-budget Lawrence: After Arabia, which follows TE Lawrence’s last years spent in Dorset before his death following a motorcycle accident in 1935. Cox voices Lawrence’s father and the epilogue for the film, which, as director Mark Griffin tells Spear’s, had a budget of ‘well under six figures’. How did he get the A-lister on board? A happy accident apparently: Cox’s wife, Nicole Ansari – who counts Deadwood and The Blacklist as acting credits – was cast as Lawrence’s mother, Sarah, and loved it: ‘That was fed back to Brian, and when we asked him to help us he said, “Yeah, sure,”’ Griffin says. A date in London was arranged, a studio prepared, and Cox delivered.


How did Griffin find directing an A-lister on his first film? ‘Not only was I directing him, but they were my lines as well,’ he laughs. Then at one point, he recalls, there was a ‘“who wrote this rubbish?”’ moment. ‘We rewrote the line on the spot,’ says Griffin. It must have helped – Lawrence: After Arabia has already picked up a couple of awards and is scheduled for release later this year. S


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