By some roundabout route, this short post is inspired (if that is the word) by further thoughts I had on yesterday's piece about provenance, and the general subject of fakes.
My late cousin and I shared a lot of private jokes over the years, most of which were greeted with puzzled stares from outsiders. We played a long-running game called "Not Quite", which kept us in stitches for years.
The theme of the game was things which were not quite successful, or not quite genuine. We started off with "Songs Which Nearly Made It", which included lots of groanworthy items such as "I've Got You Under My Sink", "Two Coins in a Fountain", "Trouble over Bridgwater" and many others. How we larfed. [Bridgwater, by the way, is a town in Somerset, England - it is a mysterious and little-understood characteristic of the British that we view our towns as a source of amusement, which does not mean that we are not proud of them. Whereas in America, for example, it is considered highly acceptable to write enthusiastic, sentimental or romantic songs about Tulsa, Phoenix, Galveston, Chicago, New York et al, in Britain - with the exception of London and (possibly) Glasgow - such mention of local places in songs is guaranteed to cause merriment - "April in Rochdale" was one of my cousin's favourites.]
We moved on from song titles to books, and then to the vast panoply of the world's fakes and magnificent near-misses. Cousin Dave was delighted to learn that Michelangelo's David, in Florence (no, not the one in Sheffield), the most-photographed tourist magnet of them all, is actually a fake. The original is held, sensibly, in a secure location in a museum. Dave thought that it was a little shabby of the authorities not to come clean on this. He felt that they should admit it was a replica or, if that was too uncomfortable, they might claim that the statue in the square was actually David's younger brother, Eric. After a suitable amount of sniggering, we called the statue Eric for ever after.
The point is (or "a possible point might be") that, if countless millions of tourists have queued to photograph, gawp at and pay homage to Eric over the years, then he has a provenance all his own. He is better known, in truth, than his more reclusive brother.
He is one of the truly great Not Quites. Respect.