A painting bought for £165,000, and thought to have been painted by British Artist Sir William Nicholson, could be nearly worthless after an art expert cast doubt on its authenticity.
“It was just loved at first sight,” owner Lyn said of the piece, adding that she “didn’t have any doubt” of its authenticity when she bought it in 2006.
An expert said there was not enough evidence to confirm who painted it. The still life of a glass jug and pears was examined on the BBC’s Fake of Fortune? program me. However, a handwriting expert believes the work is authentic, and evidence links it to Nicholson’s paint box.
“I was hurt. I feel it’s a miscarriage of justice,” Lyn said. And so she hoped the Fake Or Fortune? The team could prove otherwise. But when a catalog of Nicholson’s work – the official list of all his known pieces – was published by Reed in 2011, Lyn’s painting was not included.
Will Darby, whose Mayfair gallery – Browse and Darby – exhibited the painting before selling it to Lyn for £165,000 ($210,456), told Fiona Bruce: “I was shocked. As far as I was concerned this painting couldn’t have been done by anyone else.”
A handwriting expert told the programme he was “100% convinced” that writing on the back of the painting was by Nicholson. In Sunday night’s episode, new evidence was revealed that scientifically linked the painting to Nicholson’s own paint box which is kept in his grandson’s house.
“There is nothing that gives direct evidence that he actually executed the work himself,” she said. Born in 1872, Nicholson spent five decades painting portraits, landscapes and still life’s. Pigments also matched those used in a very similar Nicholson painting now in Canada.