Antiques Roadshow guest gasps as £8 car boot purchase is now worth small fortune

Antiques Roadshow Rupert Maas was presented with a striking image of a nesting bird during Sunday’s instalment of the BBC programme – and he was eager to tell the artwork’s owner all about it.

Painting specialist Rupert began while reflecting on the eye-catching artwork: “Now this has come a very long way to be here today.”

He added: “He’s from the Belgian Congo, now the Democratic Republic of Congo 1995, and it’s by Pilipili. Now, he was a most interesting character, but before I tell you about him, how on earth did it find its way to you?”

The guest smiled and told Rupert she found the artwork at a car boot sale almost a decade ago, telling him: “I just saw it and really loved it.”

He scoffed and replied: “A car boot sale? Of course. Where else? But I just love the little secret world generated by this artist.”

The artist had drawn the undergrowth “in such a clever way” that the guinea fowl seems to nestle safely in it from all predators.

Within the painting, stems of foliage are growing around the bird which is surrounded by pink flowers, adding an extra pop of colour to the piece.

Rupert shared: “It looks to me like it’s done not with a brush so much, but the end of a stick. You dip it in the pigment and you go, dub, dub, dub all over it to make patterns.

“It’s as much about pattern as it is about the form of the animal on her eight eggs or so.”

The guest was desperate to know how the painting may have ended up in England and wondered if the artist who created the work was successful in the UK.

Rupert told her the artist was quite well-known in the francophone world, adding: “If he was known anywhere in the world, it was Brussels or perhaps in Paris. So I can’t really account for it ending up in a car boot sale in England.”

When he asked the guest how much she paid for the piece in the car boot sale, she admitted she got the art for just £8.

Rupert then revealed the art was worth between £2,000 and £3,000 at least, which shocked the guest who appeared almost lost for words.

Following the shocking valuation on the BBC show, she told Rupert: “Oh, well thank you very much!”

It is not known if she sold the painting for a considerable profit, or kept it in her possession.

Antiques Roadshow airs on Sundays at 8pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.

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