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Tuesday, 18 June, 2002, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Bidding soars for Prince's paintings
Prince Charles' painting
The Sandringham watercolour sold for 7,300
Three watercolours by the Prince of Wales have sold for thousands of pounds more than expected.

The paintings had been conservatively expected to go for 800 each.

Paintings of Balmoral and Sandringham, each fetched 7,300. The third, of Ben Avon, sold for 6,000.

Alison Jakeway, auctioneer and valuer with Fellows & Sons, which conducted the sale in Birmingham, said: "We already knew there was going to be a lot of interest.

Balmoral painting
A section of the view of Balmoral Castle

"Even though the Prince has always said he's an amateur painter, they're good watercolours."

The landscapes feature a winter scene at Sandringham in 1987, a view of Balmoral Castle in 1989 and a view of Ben Avon in the same year.

They were offered for sale by a private collector who does not want to be identified.

They were originally purchased by another collector from a Royal Variety Club auction in 1990.

Special award

The Prince has long been a keen painter, and sales of his works at one London gallery have raised more than 3m for charity over the last 10 years.

His work won a special art award from one of the most prestigious contemporary art exhibitions in the world in December 2001.

The Florence International Biennale of Contemporary Art showed 20 lithographs of the prince's watercolours, mainly depicting the Prince's country estates.

Prince Charles took up painting in the mid-1980s because he felt an "overwhelming urge" to express what he saw with watercolours - but has said that he does not think his paintings are much good.


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