Page last updated at 20:23 GMT, Friday, 20 March 2009

Man convicted over LS Lowry con

Mill Street Scene
Maurice Taylor claimed he bought the painting in the 1960s

A self-styled lord of the manor who sold a fake LS Lowry artwork was jailed for three years at Chester Crown Court.

Maurice Taylor, 60, who bought the title Lord Taylor Windsor on the internet, tricked auctioneers Bonhams with the 1964 mill street Scene.

Taylor, of Congleton, Cheshire, claimed he bought the painting in the 1960s from an industrialist, but had actually paid 7,500 in 2004 to a gallery owner.

Judge Roger Dutton said he was exposed as an "unscrupulous, greedy man".

Invented story

Taylor, who has a burglary conviction from 1989, bought the painting - by artist Arthur Delaney in Lowry's style - in 2004 for 7,500.

He then invented a story to improve the work's apparent provenance and boost its value.

Bonhams gave the work a 600,000 insurance valuation.

Taylor then used the valuation as part of a plan to fool eventual buyer David Smith - managing director of Neptune Fine Arts.

You were exposed by the jury as being a fraud, a cheat and an unscrupulous, greedy man
Judge Roger Dutton, Chester Crown Court

It was only in late 2007, when Mr Smith had handed over 230,000 that he discovered the snowy picture full of matchstick figures was a fake.

Judge Roger Dutton told Taylor: "You were exposed by the jury as being a fraud, a cheat and an unscrupulous, greedy man.

"You bought a painting in the style of Lowry and tried to sell it on as a valid painting.

"You invented a wholly false and convincing history for it and used the title you bought for 1,000 to create an aura about yourself."

Taylor, was convicted of six counts of fraud following a two-week trial last month but was cleared of falsifying an invoice to aid his cover-up.

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Man convicted over LS Lowry con
05 Mar 09 |  Manchester

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