PLEASE, MYTH!; Pupil Spots Pounds 1/2m Classical Painting by Liverpool Artist Hanging on a School Wall

Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England), February 19, 2002 | Go to article overview

PLEASE, MYTH!; Pupil Spots Pounds 1/2m Classical Painting by Liverpool Artist Hanging on a School Wall


Byline: THOMAS MARTIN

A LONG-LOST painting by a Liverpool artist found by a 10-year-old boy could be worth up to pounds 600,000.

American Bingham Bryant spotted the mythological picture hanging above a bookcase in his school library.

He was so intrigued by the grimy, unframed, picture that he asked his father to investigate.

Christopher Bryant, a dealer specialising in tracking down 18th and 19th century military material, agreed to look at the sorrylooking painting depicting Pluto, lord of the underworld, and two rearing black stallions emerging from Hades to abduct Persephone, Greek goddess of spring.

Together, the father and son detectives discovered that the work, entitled The Fate of Persephone, was by Liverpool-born painter Walter Crane and had last been heard of in Germany in 1923.

Specialists confirmed the pair's findings and now the painting by the Liverpool-born Pre-Raphaelite artist is expected to realise pounds 400,000-pounds 600,000 at auction.

Bingham became transfixed by the work at his school in Old Lyme, Connecticut. He said: "There was something about it - and I suspected it might be very valuable."

His father added: "It's something that runs in the family - finding things. But this is our most amazing find yet.

"The painting was often passed around a class to give the kids an idea about classical mythology. But the picture had never been cleaned and was so dim, dark and dirty that they wouldn't have got much idea of what was going on. …

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