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Portrait of Percy Shelley's adopted granddaughter for sale

A portrait of a girl adopted by the only surviving son of the Romantic poet Percy Bysshe Shelly is to go under the hammer in Knightsbridge.

The watercolour of Bessie Florence, known as 'Floss', is estimated to sell for between £3,000 and £4,000 at Bonhams sale of Fine Portrait Miniatures on November 19.

The artwork by Reginald Easton is likely to have been painted close to Boscombe Manor on the Dorset coast, where Floss was raised by Percy and his novelist second wife, Mary Shelley née Wollstonecraft Godwin.

In the portrait, she stands before a sandy beach, wearing a brown shearling hat set with a diamond brooch. Credit: Bonhams

Floss encountered considerable heartbreak during her adult life, outliving her husband and four of their six children. Their youngest, Leopold, was lost at sea aboard an Australian submarine in 1914, aged twenty-five, and Sir Percy Shelley died the following year.

Her final years were spent in slight isolation at Penenden House, in Boxley near Maidstone before she died in 1934. Some say her tragic life might have made a dark poem.

Prolific art forger's paintings up for sale

He had the dubious reputation of being the world's most prolific art forger. Until his death, Eric Hebborn churned out works in the style of the old masters - Rubens, Van Dyck and even Michelangelo.

His paintings were so convincing he fooled experts in some of the top international galleries. But how did he do it?

Clues to the answer are revealed as some of his sketches go on auction tomorrow in Wiltshire. Here's Martin Dowse.


Paintings by prolific art forger up for sale

Some of the lots up for sale in Wilton Credit: ITV Meridian

A haul of sketches and paintings by one of the world's most prolific art forgers - whose work was often described as more beautiful than the original, has been put up for sale.

Eric Hebborn duped art dealers and galleries world-wide with his paintings in the style of Renaissaince greats such as Rubens , Van Dyck, Corot and Michelangelo.

His work was so convincing that dealers sold them on as genuine originals, and much of his undetected work still hangs in galleries and museums around the world.

More than a snapshot - Brighton Photo Biennial preview

The Brighton Photo Biennial is the largest international photography festival in the country, attracting around 100,000 visitors to the city every two years.

Andy Dickenson has taken a look behind the scenes and speaks to Biennial director Celia Davies, and artists Kalpesh Lathigra and Simon Faithfull.

  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Gold diggers descend on Folkestone beach

A German artist has sparked an extraordinary 'gold rush' on the Kent coast. Hundreds of people with buckets, spades and metal detectors have descended on the beach at Folkestone Harbour to search for buried bullion.

Berlin-based artist Michael Sailstorfer has hidden 30 bars of pure gold under the sand as part of a public art festival. A few fortune-hunters have struck gold. But 20-plus of the ingots are still there for the taking.

David Johns explains, talking to treasure-seekers and the project organiser Claire Doherty.


Smuggled art goes under the hammer

'The Abduction of Helen of Troy', Credit: ITV Meridian

A painting smuggled out of Russia by its aristocratic owner during the Bolshevik Revolution is going under the hammer in Canterbury.

Its owner rolled up the canvas when they fled Crimea to Constantinople over ninety years ago. The man then passed it onto his grandson.

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