Devilish Duveen

One day a rival art dealer sent an Old Master painting on a religious theme to one of Joseph Duveen's clients -- a notoriously straitlaced duke -- on spec. The duke, wondering whether to buy it, asked Duveen for his expert opinion.

Duveen carefully examined the painting, pronouncing it a fine specimen. "But," he added, "I assume you are aware that cherubs [small child-like angels with chubby faces] are homosexual."

[The duke passed and, presumably, bought something from Duveen instead. (So frequently did Duveen denigrate paintings sold by other dealers that he was sued no fewer than three times for slander.)]

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