During a classic episode of Antiquities Roadshow, expert Phillip Mold was delighted to discover a painting of the poet William Shakespeare, which had been covered over by a portrait of author Charlotte Bronte. He then appraised the painting which was originally purchased for just Â£ 5.
âWe have a saying in the art world that the back of the photo will often tell you more than the front,â began the expert.
“But you found something under the photo, didn’t you?”
âNow it all started when you bought this copy of Charlotte Bronte at a garage sale. “
“Yes,” replied the guest at Antiques Roadshow. “I basically bought it for the frame because I like the frame.”
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Speaking about the history of painting, Phillip said, âSo here you have a photo of another famous author, William Shakespeare.
“[Itâs] hidden behind Charlotte Bronte, how extraordinary. An 18th century pastel, probably around 1730, 1740 from the portrait.
âIt’s a bit rubbed, it’s a bit damaged, but you have a drawing, a pastel of a very emotional and historical subject.
“Pastels became very popular in England in the 1920s and 1930s.”
âYou can tell it’s an early pastel because of the paper, you can see the lines going through,â Phillip explained.
âPastel, like chalk, has a tendency to crumble and deteriorate. And you can see it’s a portrait of William Shakespeare from the early 1730s.
Discussing the value of the painting, the expert told the guest: “It is probably worth between Â£ 700 and Â£ 800.”
“Wow,” the guest replied simply, explaining that he bought the original frame for Â£ 5.
Antiques Roadshow is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer.