Drunk bloke who bought sculpture on eBay now set to flog it for whopping £100k

A bloke who got carried away on eBay after a few drinks and ended up buying a 14-foot sculpture now thinks he’s going to sell it for an £80,000 profit.

Gareth Palmer accidentally bid against himself to drive the price of sculptor Malcolm Robertson’s 'Twisting by the Pool’ up to nearly £20,000.

However the hapless 62-year-old had to spend a further £5,000 transporting the art from Scotland to Derbyshire plus an additional £800 for a police escort.

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Businessman Gareth reckons the sculpture could go for £100,000 when it goes under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers next month.

The artwork was created in 1996 after being commissioned by a company based in Rosyth, Scotland.

But when the company closed down, the sculpture was put up for sale.

"It was bought by a Scottish blacksmith in 2001 and he kept it in his yard for many years,” says Gareth.

"He eventually decided to sell and it ended up on eBay. I spotted it and must admit I'd drank a bottle-and-a-bit of wine when I started bidding.

"The price kept going up and I thought I'd been outbid. Then I realised I was bidding against myself.

"I have two eBay accounts, one on my iPad and one on my iPhone. I eventually outbid myself and won it"

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Gareth says he did some research on sculptor Malcolm Robertson, and found that he was an internationally-respected artist with several works in major private collections in the UK and US.

"I understand this is the first time one of his sculptures has become available to buy at a traditional auction.

"He's so highly regarded he is always commissioned. I'm also told that 'Twisting by the Pool' originally cost £70,000 when it was made 26 years ago.

"I paid under £20,000 and it cost me around £5,500 to get it transported from Scotland to Derbyshire.

"There was one failed collection attempt because I was told it was four metres high.

"It turned out to be 4.4m and the lorry couldn't get it under a low bridge. That cost me £600.

"It also ended up with a police escort which cost another £800."

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Eventually Gareth managed to get the artwork to Derbyshire and it's been stored at a builder's yard in Shardlow ever since.

"It's been hidden away for 20 years but it deserves to be seen and on public display, so I've decided to sell it," he says.

"It's going to auction with an estimate of £20,000- £30,000 but I think it's worth £100,000.

"You couldn't even make it today for £20,000. Plus, it is a unique work of art by a respected sculptor.

"I'm hoping for a Del-Boy-moment at the auction where you'll see me fall over backwards with shock as the hammer falls. That's what I want."

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Karl Martin, valuer at Hansons, said: "It's an incredibly impressive work of art and, as Gareth says, deserves to be on public display.

"It's currently standing tall outside Hansons' Derbyshire saleroom in Etwall so, if you're passing, do take a look”.

Twisting by the Pool will be sold by Hansons Auctioneers, based in Etwall, Derbys., on September 27.


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