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

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.

Sir Peter Blake later became a leader of the British pop art scene. Photo: The Times

Sir Peter Blake later became a leader of the British pop art scene.
Photo: The Times

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.

Sir Peter Blake's collection of elephant figurinesPhoto courtesy of Hugo Glendinning/BBC

Sir Peter Blake’s collection of elephant figurines
Photo: courtesy of Hugo Glendinning/BBC

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