Joanie son’s stolen £30k painting sold for £40... at car boot sale
THE mysterious disappearance of a £30,000 oil painting by the artist son of Joan Collins has taken another strange twist – after it turned up in a car boot sale.
The valuable work was snapped up for just £40, after the seller was persuaded to knock £20 off its asking price.
Alexander ‘Sacha’ Newley’s picture had gone missing en route to the home of multi-millionaire entrepreneur and former London mayoral candidate Ivan Massow last summer. But it has now been reunited with its owner after gardener Lee Broadway bought it at a car boot fair on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent, from ‘a normal bloke selling the usual rubbish out of a very average car’.
It was only when he got home that he spotted a legend on the back and realised what he had bought.
He said: ‘When I found out the true value, I was in shock.’ But when he reported it to police, he found himself embroiled in the investigation, with officers taking his DNA and fingerprints. The 42-year-old father-of-two added: ‘If I had known the trouble it would cause me, I would have take it into the garden and burned it.’ The 4ft by 3ft piece, entitled The Cardplayers ( Seven Deadly Sins), depicts a group of unsavoury characters, each repre- senting a different vice, around a gambling table. It went missing alongside two self-portraits somewhere between Mr Newley’s New York apartment and Mr Massow’s Sussex mansion. Between them, the works were valued at £50,000.
Mr Newley, who had spent three years perfecting the picture, was left ‘inconsolable’ by its loss.
He told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘When it went missing I was absolutely crestfallen and in shock and mourning. At some point I accepted it had gone, but I always had faith it would resurface at some point, though I didn’t know how long it would take or if I would still be alive. I am deeply indebted to Lee, I really am. I am sending him a thankyou gift. A less moral person might have tried to profit from it.’
Mr Broadway said he bought the canvas as a gift for a friend to hang in his shed.
Gay rights campaigner Mr Massow, a friend of Mr Newley and Dame Joan, said he was delighted the painting had been recovered, and offered to donate £100 to a charity of Mr Broadway’s choice as a thank-you.
Mr Newley’s father, Anthony Newley, shot to fame at 17 as the Artful Dodger in David Lean’s Oliver Twist and later co-wrote the title theme to the 1964 James Bond film Goldfinger. But he died in 1999 having squandered much of his fortune. He was Dame Joan’s second husband and they were married for eight years.
RELIEF: Sacha Newley and mum Joan Collins. Left: His stolen painting
STATE OF SHOCK: Lee Broadway and phone shot of the piece he bought