A Scottish art buyer who paid £22,500 in 2008 for a drawing “Boy with Big Boots” by artist Joan Eardley sent the drawing in to be cleaned. To everyone’s surprise they found a second painting hidden inside the frame when it was removed.
The new painting was an oil painting, also by Eardley, depicting a young boy and worth about four times as much as the other. Mr. McLaughlin, of the Painting & Restoration Studio, said he noticed there was a signed painting on the back as he took it out of the frame. Mr. Clark, an art consultant, said: "The two of us just looked at each other open-mouthed for a good three or four seconds. Then the excitement hits you […], it's been here for 50-odd years and we're the first two people to see it."
Mr. Clark said it was a mystery why it was there at all. "Had it been a bad painting, or had it not been signed, or had it been cut down from something, I would have thought she'd just used it as backing board," he said. "I don't know who the original recipient of the drawing was, but I think she's expected them to get it reframed at some point and to have come across it as a gift."
The new owner wanted to keep both works for his private collection.
The found picture, painted in the 1950s is thought to show one of Eardley's favourite models, Andrew Samson from Glasgow.
The artist became famous for her brightly coloured oil paintings of working class children playing in the streets, usually set against a graffiti background. Personally I like her paintings of land and sea as well.