But to jump to the punch line, what we have in this leopard is the work of a very skilled restorer. The base and spill vase belonged to a Walton sheep of the sort shown alongside. The sheep was lost and a leopard was put in its place. The baby leopard at its feet is made up.
I have to have more than a gut feeling to justify my opinions. Here the work is so well done that I had to look really hard to confirm my opinion—and there is only so much testing you can do when you are examining someone else’s prized collection. The owners took the bad news very well, and we agreed that the leopard is a lesson for us all.