I found this little drawing at a fair years ago. It was
well drawn and in the style of Gainsborough. Indeed it was
like some sketches he did of his daughters which I subsequently
saw at The National Gallery.
I sent a photo of it to Philip Mould for investigation and he
was convinced enough to send the photo to the international
expert on Gainsborough, who said it wasn’t by the master, but
gave no particular reasons.
For a while I doubted this judgement, as the paper was lined in
the correct way for paper of that time and it was faded. Also, the
dealer who sold it to me had only charged me £50, so wasn’t
trying to deceive anyone. The frame was very old and was ebonised
and gilded, though distressed.
However, I was disappointed, so sold it, having told the buyer the
whole story. I sold it for little more than I had paid for it.
Sometimes I regret selling it, but have done a copy for myself this week. I won’t be signing it ‘T Gainsborough!’