Peter Blake Painting Bought for £30 Fetches Over $1 Million at Christie’s

Peter Blake, Boys with New Ties. Courtesy of Christie's London.

Boys with New Ties by Sir Peter Blake fetched £662,500 ($1,038,800) at Christie’s London last night, hitting a new world record for Blake at auction and netting a huge return for seller Jinty Stephenson. 

Stephenson bought the painting from Blake in the 1950s when they were both students at the Royal College of Art in London for £30 ($45). Unable to afford the full price upfront, the dress designer Stephenson paid Blake instalments of £3 ($4.50) per week, handed over in the pub every Saturday.

“I went to his studio with a friend, saw this painting, and thought I have to get it,” Stephenson told the Daily Telegraph prior to the sale.

The painting exceeded its estimate of £350,000 ($534,000) by a huge amount making a tidy profit for Stephenson. Even when you compare the value of what the painting was sold for in today’s money, the painting has made Stephenson a huge gain.

“But £30 was probably what I was earning in a week as a junior designer back then,” said Stephenson.

She said the painting has accompanied her since her college days. “It’s given me enormous pleasure over the years, and has always had pride of place wherever I’ve lived,” she added.

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