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Series 11: 1. Elisabeth Frink



Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould head to the beautiful Essex countryside on the trail of one of the 20th century’s greatest artists, Dame Elisabeth Frink. They are investigating an intriguing sculpture that owner Amanda Kirke discovered at her local car boot sale. Amanda’s initial search on the internet, brought up a similar looking figure titled Small Warrior, produced by Elisabeth Frink in an edition of ten in 1956, one of which was once owned by David Bowie.\n\nAmanda has already contacted a gallery that has long dealt in Frink’s work, and is told without any provenance that they cannot authenticate it as a work by Frink. It’s up to our team to come up with the proof. Philip and Fiona meet up with Amanda at her local scrapyard, where she also went looking for clues. Discovering what this sculpture is made of, and whether it’s a material that Elisabeth Frink used, will be a crucial part of the investigation. \n\nWhile Fiona sets out to track down an authentic Frink Small Warrior in order to compare it with Amanda’s sculpture, Philip follows the trail back to the original London gallery where Frink’s Small Warrior made his art world debut in 1959. Will the gallery be able to shed any light on how many figures were produced and sold, and where they might be now? \n\nHaving tracked down an authenticated Small Warrior, the team spot worrying anomalies between it and Amanda’s figure, triggering the search for further authentic figures from the same original edition. Using scientific analysis and the latest laser-scanning technology, together with the expert opinion of a friend and fellow sculptor of Frink’s, will Philip and Fiona’s evidence be enough to convince the authentication committee that Amanda’s figure is genuine?\n\nThis proves to be one of the team’s most difficult investigations. As well as the sculpture’s dubious emergence at a car boot sale, they face a provenance that is virtually non-existent. If this is a genuine Frink, it could be worth up to £60,000. But if it’s not, then its scrap metal value is a mere £10! The stakes have never been so high for the team.

Source: BBC 1

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