An intricate portrait of Jasper Carrott, which the comedian paid thousands of pounds for, was accidentally sold by a charity shop in a stunning botch – for just £20.
Legendary brummie entertainer, real name Robert Davis, commissioned artist Hilary J Baker to create the etching using his hair, fingerprints, blood and saliva.
Hilary then donated the piece to the Kemp Hospice Charity Shop to display for their art trail earlier this month.
The 80cm x 80cm artwork featured a ‘Not For Sale’ sign and was hung on the wall of the shop in Bewdley, Worcestershire.
However, a volunteer accidentally sold it to a mystery woman, unaware it was on display, snapping it up for £20 on July 13.
The charity has now made a desperate plea for the client to return the picture so it can be returned to Jasper, 77.
Artist Hilary, 60, explained: “The image is a forensic etching that required many visits from Jasper to my Bewdley studio and I used his hair, fingerprints, blood and even spit in my unique forensic etching process.”
“Jasper is a friend and he has had to sit for work many times. He commissioned the work, I didn’t even tell him it was gone,” she confessed.
“I would hope he would see the funny side as long as it gets returned.
‘It was proof I would make more etchings of and of course I would present it to Jasper.’
Studio owner Hilary added: “The picture means a lot to me and I was devastated to learn it had been sold in error.”
After Hilary loaned the portrait to the charity as a favor, it was displayed at the store as part of the 2022 Foundry Artist Art Trail, which spanned 20 locations across the city.
“I thought it would be a nice picture for the charity to put on the wall for the art trail. I found out it had been mistakenly sold when I walked into the store and my picture wasn’t on the wall,” she said.
“All I know is that a dark-haired lady with a black country accent bought it along with several other items on the morning of July 13th.
“We tried to contact the police but they won’t help. The only hope is that the customer realizes what happened and sends it back.”
Hilary, who works all over the world, charges more than £5,000 for her commissioned work.
Caroline Beech, CEO of Kemp Hospice, said: “We were devastated to learn that this genuine and unfortunate mistake had happened and everyone across the team is deeply concerned for Hilary to get back with her picture as soon as possible is united.”
Gary Barnes, Retail Manager at Kemp Hospice added: “We have exhausted all avenues to track down the image which is why we are now asking our local community for help.
“We are sincerely sorry for what happened. We have conducted an internal investigation and are confident that it was an unfortunate human error.
“We hope the person who bought the painting understands and gets in touch to help us reunite it with Hilary.”
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