£40 Ebay purchase makes £130,000

December 20 2022

Image of £40 Ebay purchase makes £130,000

Picture: Bukowskis

A picture bought by a Scottish art collector for £40 on Ebay has been sold for £130,000 at an auction in Sweden. From George Mair in The Times:

The still life is understood to have been listed on the internet site by a UK seller. They described it as “an antique oil painting of flowers, indistinctly signed”. The work was obscured by grime and flecks of white paint used to recolour the original gold gilt frame.

It was snapped up by a buyer in Edinburgh who thought it would look nice on his wall. The Scot, who wishes to remain anonymous, posted online a photograph of the faint signature in the lower right-hand corner. An art enthusiast in the US responded to say that the name looked to be that of Helene Schjerfbeck, a Finnish modernist artist whose most famous work, Dancing Shoes, sold for more than £3 million.

Experts at Bonhams in Edinburgh confirmed that the work, dubbed White Roses in a Glass, was painted by Schjerfbeck during a visit to St Ives, Cornwall, in the late 1880s.

The 33 x 25cm painting was sent to Bukowski’s, the Swedish auction house that Bonhams acquired this year. With a high-end estimate of £120,000 it sold to a Nordic collector for £130,000.

The Bukowskis catalogue entry, with better photos, is here

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