When the work ‘Boys with New Ties’, a painting by Sir Peter Blake was bought by Jinty Stephenson in the 1950s for a mere £30, little did she know the eventual value of the painting.
When the work goes under the hammer at Christie’s London Modern British and Irish Art sale on June 25, the painting could sell for 10,000 times more than its original price, the Daily Telegraph reports.
The painting is estimated to sell for of £350,000, or $534,000, and its owner has called it “the best investment I’ve ever made.” Stephenson bought ‘Boys With New Ties’ – which depicts three young boys wearing colourful neckties – directly from Blake’s studio, when they were both students at London’s Royal College of Art.
But Jinty, a young dress designer couldn’t afford to pay the £30 ($45) agreed upfront, and instead negotiated to pay Blake in £3 ($4.50) instalments, which was delivered to him at a local pub every Saturday. “I went to his studio with a friend, saw this painting and thought I have to get it,” Stephenson told the Daily Telegraph. “But £30 was probably what I was earning in a week as a junior designer back then,” she explained.
“It’s given me enormous pleasure over the years, and has always had pride of place wherever I’ve lived,” concluded. The sum, Blake told her, “kept him in food for the week”, Mrs Stephenson subsequently hung the painting in pride of place above the mantelpiece in her Bayswater flat.
Sir Peter Blake went on to become a leading figure of British pop art. The artist’s painting will now be offered as one of 40 lots featuring in the Christie’s Modern British and Irish Art evening sale. It also includes sculptures by Dame Barbara Hepworth, estimated at £1.8 million, L S Lowry’s Going to Work at £1 million and Sir Stanley Spencer’s Hilda and I at Burghclere at £1.8 million.