Hullo Old Boy!
I was clearing out the attic last week and I found an oil painting and an old violin; so I just took them along to Sotheby's to get them valued.
They were a Rembrandt and a Stradivarius.
But that's marvelous!
Well... It turns-out that Rembrandt made terrible violins and Stradivarius was a lousy painter.
... (Collapse of stout party)...
I'd invited a bunch of my friends over, and we were all drinking Guinness, when suddenly my parents came home and...
collapse of stout party!
@Wm - It seems that the phrase, rather than being ubiquitous in the 19th century, as claimed - is probably a piece of modern pseudo-Victorianism:
Actually, if you think about it, a terrible Rembrandt violin and a lousy Stradivarius painting would both be worth a lot of money. I’m sure anything made or owned by a great man would be worth money, regardless of its merit.
First: This was in Edwardian times, before the prices of random memorabilia became so inflated, and
Secondly - Rembrandt made *really* terrible violins and Stradivarius was an *absolutely* lousy painter.
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