Charles I, the Bargain Bin King

Another gem found on Ebay!


This ‘Old Master’ portrait of King Charles I is currently the subject of a bidding war on Ebay. At last count, the high bid was an unprecedented…. £2.60p. Described as an ‘early and important study of the king on his throne’, it has nevertheless taken 4 bids to push the asking price to the cost of my local return bus fare.

A little embarrassing for a proud monarch, but I still like it, although ‘Old Master’ is stretching belief rather a lot. As usual there’s no information on provenance or condition. At least His Majesty can recover some of his lost dignity (and value) in the postage costs, which are a more respectable £22.

So, what do readers think? Is this worth £2.60? Is it even 17th century?

View the auction on Ebay

ETA 24th July: The asking price has gone up a bid to £5.50, with seven days still to go!

27th July: The bidding has now reached a far more respectable £700! In my humble opinion, the bidders are a little optimistic about the quality of their ‘find’, given the limited background information and rather average execution (no pun intended, Your Majesty….), and not forgetting this is actually a copy, but it’s not my £700, so I hope whoever wins the auction is very happy with their prize!


Dobson self-portrait sold

Today was a big day for William Dobson fans. One of only three known self-portraits came up for auction at Bonhams’ Old Master Paintings sale in London, following some great media promotion, including a turn as featured painting in Bonham’s sale advert in a major British newspaper!

self portrait

The posted estimate was between £200,000 and £300,000, but it eventually sold for a staggering total of £1,106,500*! Considering a Dobson portrait of Charles I was given the same estimate a few year ago, but achieved just over £200,000, this price is astonishing, and shows an encouraging upturn in appreciation for the artist and his works. We have no information as yet who bought it, and if, as likely, it was a private collector, this information will likely remain confidential, so we’ll just have to keep our fingers crossed that it won’t be another thirty years or more before we see it in public again…:(


*Including premium (a percentage paid to the auction house on top of the sale price). The hammer price for this portrait was £920,000.


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