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Gloucestershire Business News

Cottingley Fairies photographs sold by Cotswold auctioneers

Famous faked photographs of fairies from more than 100 years ago have been sold by a Gloucestershire auctioneers.

Dominic Winters Auctioneers in Cirencester is the business which sold the Cottingley Fairies photographs for £50,000.

The specialist Cotswold-based auctioneers estimated the 14 different lots could have fetched up to £65,000, if all of them had sold.

The photographs of interest were taken by children in 1917 and later came to the attention of famous author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was writing an article about fairy life.

They remained a source of intrigue until 1983 when the pictures were found to have been staged. There was so much interest in them that a movie was made about the images and the children who made them in 1997.

The recent auction comprised of 14 different lots from nine different vendors. Six of the lots came from Christine Lynch, daughter of the little girl in the original photograph, and eight were from other sources.

The three that didn't sell belonged to Ms Lynch. One in particular, Frances and the Fairy Ring, is a popular contact print. According to Chris Albury, auctioneer and senior valuer at Dominic Winters, this particular piece was expected to get at least £10,000.

Mr Albury said: "It was possibly one of the best showings of the photographs ever put up at auction and there was perhaps a bit too much choice and that one just didn't make its mark on the day".

On the day of the auction (11 April) the media were present but Mr Albury said: "The buyers themselves seemed generally keen to remain invisible themselves, much like the fairies".

The bidding for all the items sold came from three sources on the phone or online.

Mr Albury said: "The bidding was all from America and the UK as far as I know".

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