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The Telegraph reports John Edwards' brother judged to have sold fake Bacon drawings*

Posted on 2013-10-18 01:16:57 in PRESS
Francis Bacon painting Three Studies for a a Portrait of John Edwards 1984. Photo: John Edwards © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.
Francis Bacon painting Three Studies for a a Portrait of John Edwards 1984. Photo: John Edwards © The Estate of Francis Bacon. All rights reserved.

The Telegraph has reported the following on news surrounding a previous sale of drawings, claimed to be Francis Bacon's by their seller David Edwards:

When Francis Bacon past away on the 28th April 1992, his close friend John Edwards inherited the late artist's entire Estate. John Edwards himself passed away in 2003. Four years later John Edwards' brother David Edwards sold a collection of six drawings he claimed to be by Bacon for one million pounds, and months later a further six for three hundred thousand pounds.

However when the buyers showed their drawings to the Francis Bacon Authentication Committee in October 2007 they were told the style was: "inconsistent with all the sketches and paintings currently attributed to Bacon". Martin Harrison, chair of the committee and eminent Bacon scholar, said the drawings were "fakes", consistent "in every way" with the style of other copies. The value of the paintings was put at just over Four hundred and eighty pounds.

David Edwards, who was friends with Bacon when the artist was alive, was left bankrupt in 2009 from legal actions by the buyers of the sketches. Prior to being made bankrupt it emerged that David Edwards passed four hundred and twenty-five thousand pounds to his boyfriend John Frederick Tanner. Last May Mr Tanner was ordered to pay the sum to the buyers as reimbursement.

January saw a High Court Judge, Mr Justice Sales reject a bid from Mr Tanner to introduce fresh evidence that purportedly showed the drawings were genuine. Mr Tanner then appealed the decision, with Lady Justice Arden rejecting a bid to bring forward fresh evidence that the sketches are "authentic", at London's Appeal Court on October 7th 2013. Further details of this story, including reasons for Lady Justice Arden's ruling, and the evidence that Mr Tanner hoped to introduce to the hearing are outlined in this article from The Telegraph.

*Please note the views expressed in this article are those of The Telegraph, and not those of the Estate of Francis Bacon.

The Estate of Francis Bacon wholly funds the research programme to produce and publish the complete work of Francis Bacon. Martin Harrison, FSA, was appointed editor of the new catalogue raisonné in 2005, and a research assistant, Dr Rebecca Daniels, was appointed in 2006. Their work, which has been funded entirely by the Estate, is scheduled for completion in 2014. A Catalogue Raisonné Committee and Authentication Board which consists of six members was set up in 2006 to enable unrecorded original works to be identified and fakes to be eliminated from the record. Since its inception the Committee has convened in London once or twice a year. The next Committee is scheduled to take place on 28th October 2013. Anyone who wishes to submit a work to the Committee would need to download a Submission Form which can be found here and return it duly completed to the address found on the form.

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