Criminal prices for auction art

Happy mum, happy Charles Bronson
Happy mum, happy Charles Bronson

Some would say £230 is a criminal price to pay for a doodle drawn by an armed robber who is currently serving life in prison.

But that’s not what the crowd of punters who were bidding for the work of Charles Bronson at Tring Market Auctions thought.

Insanity gone insane by Charles Bronson PNL-140107-183155001

Insanity gone insane by Charles Bronson PNL-140107-183155001

They snapped up 10 of his paintings, which fell under the hammer on Saturday.

The most expensive – titled Insanity gone Insane – went for £260, £200 more than it had been expected to fetch.

Even Bedlam University – which is more of a drawing than a painting – fetched £230 at the auction.

Auction house managing director Stephen Hearn said: “It was a really good result – everything sold really well and for two or three times the estimate. The Bronson pictures went to different parts of the country – I don’t think any were sold to people who live locally.”

He said he didn’t ask too many questions about the buyers, ‘in case they were old associates of his’.

But he said: “There were a lot of people here: there’s always a lot of interest whenever something different comes up.

“There are those collectors who do not go for anything in particular – other than things that are different.”

Bronson will use the cash to pay for a holiday for his mum, as a way of saying sorry for making her angry when he attacked 12 prison guards.

Bronson – dubbed ‘Britain’s most violent prisoner – is serving life for multiple offences including armed robbery.

The 61-year-old has been in jail for most of his life and has a reputation for being a difficult inmate – having taken numerous hostages.

The Tottenham Hotspur fan reportedly attacked the guards at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes in May while smeared with butter after his team’s arch-rivals Arsenal won the FA Cup.

Mr Hearn said: “At least his mum will get a nice holiday now – he’s already on a long one!”

A collection of items associated with the Great Train Robbery was also up for sale – but was not sold. Items from Yasser Arafat also failed to sell during the auction, as they did not meet the minimum price their owner had asked for.