Philip Hook is senior director of Sotheby’s and appears regularly as pictures expert on BBC TV’s The Antiques Roadshow. He has the unusual distinction of also having been a director of Christie’s, which he joined in 1973 straight from Cambridge University, where he read History of Art and won a soccer blue. In between working at the two auction houses he founded London art dealers the St. James’s Art Group.
His book BREAKFAST AT SOTHEBY’S: AN A TO Z OF THE ART WORLD was published by Penguin in November 2013.
THE ULTIMATE TROPHY: HOW THE IMPRESSIONIST PAINTING CONQUERED THE WORLD
AN INNOCENT EYE
A man is gunned down in an exclusive London hotel room. The killer’s abandoned jacket yields a single clue: a photograph of a landscape by Monet.
Only Daniel Stern knows the connection. His quest for justice for his family has led him on a bitter journey of discovery across Europe.
To Paris, and the revelation of his grandparents’ tragic story during the city’s wartime occupation.
To Rome – to Fr Alfonso Cambres, a worldly priest who has something weighing on his conscious.
To a house in the Swiss Alps, where the ultimate restitution must be made.
Stern’s task; to reconcile a series of conflicts between past and present, Jew and Catholic, guilt and innocence. But as he approaches his goal, he encounters a woman who presents him with one final terrible dilemma.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION DATE: October 2000
THE SOLDIER IN THE WHEATFIELD
Parnello Moran buys a German romantic landscape at an auction, but then it’s stolen from him. When he sets out to recover it he discovers all its recent owners met violent deaths. Gradually he uncovers a deeper past, and the biggest surprise of all – the secret of the soldier in the wheatfield.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stuoghton
PUBLICATION DATE: July 1998
Art dealer Oswald Ginn is sent a photograph of a 19th century masterpiece presumed destroyed in Dresden’s bombing. As rumours of the painting’s survival spread through the art world, three people are propelled on an international search. While someone sits back and watches.
PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton
PUBLICATION DATE: September 1994
BREAKFAST AT SOTHEBY’S
Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a wry, intimate, truly revealing exploration of how art acquires its financial value, from Philip Hook, a senior director at Sotheby’s
When you stand in front of a work of art in a museum or exhibition, the first two questions you normally ask yourself are 1) Do I like it? And 2) Who’s it by? When you stand in front of a work of art in an auction room or dealer’s gallery, you ask these two questions followed by others: how much is it worth? how much will it be worth in five or ten years’ time? and what will people think of me if they see it hanging on my wall?
Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a guide to how people reach answers to such questions, and how in the process art is given a financial value. Fascinating and highly subjective, built on thirty-five years’ experience of the art market, Philip Hook explores the artist and his hinterland (including -isms, middle-brow artists, Gericault and suicides), subject and style (from abstract art and banality through surrealism and war), “wall-power”, provenance and market weather, in which the trade of the art market is examined and at one point compared to the football transfer market. Comic, revealing, piquant, splendid and absurd, Breakfast at Sotheby’s is a book of pleasure and intelligent observation, as engaged with art as it is with the world that surrounds it.
“Reading it is like participating in a hugely enjoyable personal tutorial given by a cultured, witty, clear-eyed, world teacher with a fully functioning sense of humour. A real delight”. The Spectator
“Very funny and often touching, it teems with vivid observation and anecdotes about artists, paintings, nude models, dealers and critics. Hook also provides wonderful insights into The Antiques Roadshow, on which he appeared for 25 years, and the rivalry of Christie’s and Sotheby’s”. Jilly Cooper, Mail on Sunday
Publisher: Particular Books (Penguin)
Publication Date: 7th November 2013
Buy here: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1846146259