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£20 picture turns out to be £60,000 power print by Cyril Edward Power for sale at Bonhams
Cyril Edward Power (British, London 1872-1951), Speed Trial. Estimate: £40,000 to £60,000. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- A print of a speeding racing car that hung on a man’s wall for 25 years, unregarded as anything other than a nice image, was shown to a Bonhams auctioneer who advised the client that it was very valuable. Now it will be sold in Bonhams Print sale on April 16th in London for an estimated £40,000 to £60,000.

Toby Wilson, Head of Automobilia at Bonhams, passed the print to Rupert Worrall the Head of Prints at Bonhams who confirmed Toby’s belief that this was something special, way beyond the £20 value its owner had placed on it when showing it to Toby to get his opinion.

Toby says: “I was attending the Automobilia Exhibition at Seaside California during the Pebble Beach week, when I was approached by a private client who had found 'This old print that had been hanging in his garage for 25 years' and asked "If I liked it"? He believed it was worth no more than £20. I identified the print as much more valuable than that and advised him that it was very suitable for sale in our specialist print sales in London.”

The print turned out to be by Cyril Edward Power (British, London 1872-1951), titled Speed Trial, a Linocut printed in viridian, permanent blue and Chinese blue, on buff oriental laid tissue, signed, titled and numbered 7/60, with margins, 196 x 375mm (7 3/4 x 14 3/4in)(B). It is estimated to sell for £40,000-60,000. The car in the image is based on Malcolm Campbell's Bluebird, which broke the land speed record in 1931.

A similar Power image sold last summer for £96,000. For the next Bonhams Print sale Rupert Worrall is looking for more linocuts by Cyril Power, Sybil Andrews and Claude Flight along with prints by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson.

Rupert Worrall comments: “This is a particularly nice Power that will doubtless attract a lot of interest from people who collect his work which grows in popularity each year. It was really fortunate that its owner thought to show it to Toby, who as an expert in all things to do with cars, recognized it immediately for what it was. Its owner obviously had no idea of its true value.”

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