Antiques Roadshow guest tells expert he won’t sell ‘impulse’ Lady’s Maid portrait

Antiques Roadshow viewers hear stories of Lady’s Maid portrait after artist was taken by her beauty when painting her employer in the 1900s but the piece is to ‘never be sold’

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Antiques Roadshow: Guest can’t part with painting of grandmother

An Antiques Roadshow guest has told how his unsigned portrait ‘will never leave his family’ despite being urged by the show expert to track down the artist to prove its worth.

Viewers of the rerun episode of the BBC show saw expert Rupert Mass offer his insight into the portrait and other treasured items at Somerleyton Hall near Lowestoft.

The guest shared a portrait of his wife’s grandmother Dorothy Lucas who used to be a Lady’s maid in the 1900s.

He went on to add that the woman Dorothy used to work for, once had her portrait painted by an artist, who was so taken aback by the maid’s beauty, she offered to paint her as well.

‘Keeping it in the family’: The item will never be sold



But expert Rupert was ‘thrown’ by the guests thoughts on the paintings origins, as he believed it was in fact a female artist who captured the pair.

He added: “See that has sort of thrown me,” Rupert explained. “As I had a contender if it had been a male painter.”

“Obviously it is not signed,” Rupert continued. “And with a sketch-like that why would you sign it?

“It was done on impulse presumably.”

Rupert urged the guest he would need to track down the name of the artist to be sure of how much it was worth.

And sharing his own views he predicted that the artist could be Harrington Mann which could fetch around £6,000 if put up for sale.

The Lady’s Maid portrait was taken by chance when the artist was painting her employer



But the guest admitted he was hanging on to the piece and the money was immaterial, adding: “This would never leave the family, anyway,”

Earlier in the show another painting brought to Rupert was a water-colour picture that was painted by Olive Hockin in 1914 – which had links to the Suffragette movement.

The guest explained: “It was my grandmother who trained at the Slade School of Art in central London.

“She liked to exhibit the Royal Academy. She had numerous paintings exhibited there.

He explained to Rupert he had never met his grandmother as she sadly passed away before he was born.

“I do know all about her because I tried to buy two of her pictures a few years ago,” the expert admitted. “I looked her up and she is the most colourful character.

“She joined the Suffragette movement at a round about the same time this picture was painted.

“Sylvia Pankhurst was a friend of hers. She gave the movement some credibility in some ways.”

“I inherited this from my late father 10 years ago,” the guest continued. “And I know very little about it.”

Rupert went on to share valuable historical insight explaining the guest’s grandmother was sent to prison for trying to firebomb Prime Minister Lloyd George’s house.

He said the portrait would attract between £4,000 to £6,000 if put up for sale.

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