Genuine Fakes and ‘King William IV’s spurs’ go under the hammer

SPURS purported to have been the last worn by King William IV and paintings by one of the 20th century’s greatest forgers were among the treasures up for auction in Lichfield earlier in January.

The 19th century gilt metal Maxwell spurs with leather straps, pictured, came with a handwritten label bearing the legend: “Last spurs worn by His Majesty William 4th.”

They galloped off for £420 during Richard Winterton’s three day sale at The Lichfield Auction House, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park, on January 8-10.

The first day included a specialist pictures section featuring ‘Genuine Fakes’ by Staffordshire-based John Myatt, who was sentenced to a year behind bars in 1999 for his part in what was christened the 20th century's biggest contemporary art fraud.

Pictured above is Henri Matisse’s ‘Algerian Nude’, signed ‘John Myatt Genuine Fakes’ and dated 2000, the year after Myatt was released from prison after serving four months, which sold for £1,350 on Tuesday (January 8).

And Myatt’s replica of Alberto Giacometti’s ‘Portrait Of Annette’ on a canvas dating back to 2000 but overpainted in 2009 sold for £1,700.

On the back of the ‘Giacometti’, which has been exhibited at West Mercia Police Academy, is a personalised inscription to John Anderson – another Staffordshire artist who also paints in the style of 20th century masters.

But whereas Myatt’s paintings – despite being created with a blend of Dulux emulsion paint and KY Jelly! – are perfect replicas, Anderson’s work is characterised by various changes so there could be no confusion

Twenty-seven works by Anderson featured in the same auction. Four oils in the style of LS Lowry made a combined hammer price of £2,180 – his take on 'Coming Home From The Mill, pictured above, made £1,000 alone.

And Anderson’s painting in the syle of Henri Rousseau, ‘Tiger In A Tropical Storm (Surprised)’, sold for £1,000.

A quartet of contemporary French oil paintings by Joel Rougie sold for double the estimate at £990 and original pastel studies by Kay Boyce sold for a total of £2,610.

The three-day sale included a haul of jewellery, watches, ceramics and furniture of all styles, shapes and sizes – one highlight was an early Gordon Russell footstool, which sold for £600.

Richard Winterton Auctioneers offers free valuations of jewellery, antiques and collectables every Tuesday between 9.30am-4pm at The Lichfield Auction Centre, Wood End Lane, Fradley Park.

Free, no obligation home visits are available for large collections or big items. Telephone 01543 251081 or email

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