Blog Tour: The Matter of The Crown

Guest Post: Art Crimes

Crime stories engage the most intelligent readers because they want to know who done it and they want the crime solved, while they devour every morsel of the story.   When a beautiful work of art is at the heart of the story, well then, we all fall in…hook line and sinker.   And usually, thank God, the work of art is not lost.   The protagonist rescues her canvas As a person schooled in the history of art and the law, and one who teaches future lawyers about the overlap, I know too much about art crime.  I love writing about it, however, because I love telling readers about the objects themselves.

Artworks are unique and always valuable in one way or another, so they attract both love and avarice   In the days of conquest by marching armies, from the Romans to Napoleon, there has been booty and loot.   Plenty of that hangs even now in the collections of private art lovers and museums all around the world.  There is another, related topic that is technical art theft.   This takes us, indirectly, to the topic of why people acquire masterpieces in the first place; it’s not always the pure love of fine art.

In my lifetime, the press has fallen in love with the subject of art theft because people love to read about it and it does sell copy.   It’s more than scandal, isn’t it?  There have been famous military moments, rich and famous people, eccentric people, gorgeous unique objects, all of which are the makings of exquisitely tantalizing stories. There is almost always a daredevil in the mix, sometimes a pirate or a jewel thief, to say nothing of an object that cannot do its own speaking.  Then there is the policeman in hot pursuit.

The Mona Lisa was stolen once.    And there are lists of famous and important works of art that have been missing for decades, even centuries.  Objects surface out of nowhere, too, for example the painting attributed to Leonardo da Vinci that sold very recently for about $450 million.  Edvard Munch’s paintings have been stolen over and over again, and one thief even left a note.  Everybody is aware of the horrible theft from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.  Lots and lots of drama.

One of my favorite films is the more recent version of The Thomas Crown Affair, although there are plenty of good films about art crime.  I encourage my students to watch them all because they are visual, like the objects in question, and because they spotlight the excitement that goes with this type of crime.   They begin with a work of art and the next thing you know, there’s a hot story.   Some people are drawn to write about it and I am one of those.

They amaze me, some of these crimes.  “They” say that a good story has to be credible.  Well, who is to challenge the credibility of a tale about a theft or a forgery of a work of art? As wild as some of these episodes have been, they have happened for ages.

The Matter of the Crown

The Crown of the Andes, one of the world’s most precious and beautiful sacred objects, has been stolen right off the stage at Satterling’s Auction House in New York City. Five pounds of magnificent baroque gold that ransomed the Inca Ruler Atahaulpa, and hundreds of perfect Colombian emeralds, all gone without a trace! Will this legendary treasure be destroyed for its gold and emeralds? One woman is dead and another one in hot pursuit.

Purchase from Amazon UK

About Linda Ferreri​

Linda Ferreri is a well-known art lawyer and author.  Her books include novels about the Crown of the Anes, a novella entitled The King of UNINI, and whimsical hand-illustrated iBooks.  She is known, also, for her drawings.   She divides her time between Italy and the United States, and lectures widely around the world about art and history.  Her next novel is in progress.





  1. Many thanks to you! Linda

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