Don Quixote painting bought for £89 shocks Scarborough auction room as it sells for £23,000

Rare find painting sets new record. Pixabay

A painting owned by a Whitby man fetched a jaw-dropping £23,000 (€25,994) in the Spring Art Sale at David Duggleby’s Scarborough auction house, reports The Yorkshire Post.

The picture was Don Quixote, painted by the abstract expressionist Julio Pomar in 1961, one of the most renowned Portuguese artists of the 20th Century.

Art specialist Dominic Cox spotted the painting during his visit to a Whitby home to assess a collection of largely Victorian pictures.

Mr Cox said: “The paintings I had been invited to look at were nice quality, although not particularly exceptional – but then I happened to catch sight of the Don Quixote on a wall at the top of the stairs. Wow!

“You may or may not like abstract art but surely almost anyone would concede that the picture is striking.

“It certainly got my attention.”

The Whitby man inherited the painting from his father, a Scottish art dealer, who bought it in Edinburgh in 1989 for £89 (€100)

“He and his wife had no strong feelings about the picture and they were unaware of Pomar’s importance, or the potential value.

“Our initial assessment was that it could make £5,000 to £8,000 but when the auction catalogue was published things went absolutely crazy.”

Bidding opened at £7,600 and within seconds had sailed past £10,000 – and kept on going.

“At the death it came down to a straight battle between a Portuguese dealer bidding on the telephone and the eventually successful buyer, a private collector bidding on the DD Live Internet platform from London,” said Mr Cox.

“The result caused astonishment in the room.

“Actually it even surprised the vendor, who was present to watch the auction.”

This represents a record UK price for one of Pomar’s paintings, rivalling values that the artist’s work is achieving in Portugal.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.