Antiques Roadshow guest snubs £6k painting valuation as it will never leave

An Antiques Roadshow guest refused to sell his century-old portrait after an expert gave it an eye-watering valuation.

In the replayed episode on Sunday's BBC programme, the man brought a portrait of his wife's grandmother to specialist Rupert Maas, who said she looked like a "humble sitter".

The guest explained: "She was actually a lady's maid to Lady Maud Hoare. Her name's Dorothy Lucas and she's my wife's grandmother. She's born in 1900.

"The story goes is that in the First World War, Dorothy was the lady's maid to Lady Maud Hoare, who was married to Sir Samuel Hoare.

"When a lady friend of Lady Hoare came round to paint her one day, she saw Dorothy and was impressed by her beauty and asked to paint her as well."

Rupert said the theory "made sense" given that a lady's maid would not have been able to afford the fees of a portraitist.

While the guest couldn't find any signature on the painting, the expert suggested it could have been painted by Edwardian portraitist Harrington Mann or Sir John Lavery.

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  • He also noticed that the portraitist completed the painting at speed, which showed an element of "instant charm" with a dark background and a splash of red.

    When it came down to the all-important valuation, he said: "This might reward some work because we've got a name, we've got Lady Hoare.

    "Now a painting of Lady Hoare by a major society portraitist should be trackable. We should be able to find it and we've got a name for the painter of your grandmother, it seems to me.

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    "If it were Lavery, it's a very valuable painting and if it's Harrington Mann, it's not far behind.

    "Lavery, perhaps £4,000 to £6,000 if it's him."

    The man looked taken aback and replied: "Really? Crikey!"

    But when he managed to calm down, he added: "Well, it's academic because this would never leave the family anyway."

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