Antiques Roadshow guest devastated as beloved portrait has hidden value twist

Antiques Roadshow: Expert values collection of jewellery

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A recent episode of the popular BBC valuation show saw a guest bring in a drawing named “Sulky”, depicting the face of a grumpy-looking man. Picture and print expert Alexandra Gill had to divulge to the Antiques Roadshow guest her family item was in fact a copy of an original artwork, leaving her disappointed.

“I have to ask, how did you come by the portrait of Sulky?” Alexandra asked the owner of the picture.

She explained: “My parents bought him from Cirencester car-boot sale in the late 80s, because my dad thought that Sulky looked like his dad.

“And then yeah, it’s been in our house ever since.”

“And do you remember your grandfather?” Asked the artwork specialist.

“Yeah I do,” the guest replied, before Alexandra asked: “And would this remind you of him?”

“Yes,” the guest reflected. “He could definitely get a sulk on!”

Analysing the drawing, Alexandra commented: “Well the original is a drawing by Gerald W Tooby, but sadly this is a copy of the drawing.”

Looking devastated, the guest replied: “Oh, right.”

Alexandra responded: “I know. One of the reasons you can tell that it is a copy is because it’s got very sharp edges.”

She observed: “And if you look very, very closely, you can see it’s pixelated.

“So you can see very, very small dots as the image is made up, which is another indication that it’s a copy.”

However, the original artist’s signature was valid, as Alexandra pointed out.

“It does have Gerard Tooby’s signature on it, in ballpoint,” she mentioned, adding: “So that’s always quite fun to have. It means that he knew about it.” Alexandra wanted to delve into how much had been spent on the copied drawing, but the answer probably wasn’t what she had been expecting.

“Can I ask how much you paid for it?” Alexandra asked.

Seeming reluctant to respond, the guest laughed: “Approximately 70p.”

The Antiques Roadshow star answered: “Well, I’m delighted to say you probably doubled your money.”

“Right well, okay,” the guest commented.

She added: “Better than nothing!”

Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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