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Wednesday, October 13, 1999 Published at 12:55 GMT 13:55 UK


Blind spot for art

David Hockney: Five of his sketches were glued to the blind

An old kitchen blind could fetch up to £50,000 when it goes up for auction on Wednesday.

The blind sold for £11,000, lower than expected
There is a unique selling point, though, for the blind, which was found in an East Yorkshire house is covered with artwork by David Hockney, one of the UK's most famous contemporary artists.

But it was nearly thrown away by the current owner, who bought the house in Bridlington from Hockney's sister Margaret in 1991.

Amanda Gresham had never heard of Hockney and assumed the rolled-up blind was rubbish.

'Not worth anything'

"I was converting the house back to its Victorian state when Margaret and her partner came round to pick up some letters," said Ms Gresham.

"I was actually up the ladder taking the blind down because it was the day the rubbish bin came. I asked her about it and she said her brother had done it and it was probably not worth anything. I didn't know what she meant because the blind had been rolled up all the time."

"When we rolled the blind out we realised there were all these pictures stuck to it."

The five sketches had been faxed by Hockney from the United States to his sister. Ms Gresham discovered David Hockney was a famous artist when she asked a neighbour.

'Blind is unique'

But other Hockney memorabilia did not survive the clear-out. Several signed photographs of his work, a number of his paintbrushes and a rug splashed in paint had already been thrown away.

The blind is to be auctioned by North Lincolnshire sale house DDM. Saleroom director Robert Horner said: "Valuing the blind has been an interesting challenge.

"The provenance is rock solid, there is absolutely no doubt this is genuine Hockney, and the blind is unique. The personal and family links make it particularly exciting."

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