This anonymous artist was so named by Mr. Fred Meijer of the RKD on the basis of a number of pictures by the same hand that have in the past been erroneously attributed to Michiel Simons (active 1648-1673). The style is in fact closer to that of his contemporary Jan-Pauwel Gillemans II (1651-c. 1708), with whose work the artist must have been vaguely familiar. The Pseudo Simons referred repeatedly to a set of stock motifs so it unsurprising to note that the squirrel, lobster, tazza, oysters, pomegranate and the basket are elements that all feature in other works by him (see for example, the picture sold, Sotheby's, London, 16 April 1997, lot 12, [£22,900]).
As Mr. Meijer accepts, the number of pictures by the artist that have surfaced in England indicate that he was probably active here at some point, a notion that is further supported by the emergence and history of the present pair.
For a discussion of the history of these pitures at Longleat see footnote to the preceding lot.