An “impressive” Scottish sculpture is up for auction after the owner accidentally outbid himself on Ebay after drinking a bottle of wine.
Gareth Palmer, 62, believes the 4.4m tall stainless steel sculpture deserves to sell for £100,000 – after he bought it on the e-commerce website for £20,000.
The businessman said: “It was bought by a Scottish blacksmith in 2001 and he kept it in his yard for many years. 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.’Gareth Palmer
“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.”
Made in 1996 by Scottish sculptor Malcolm Robertson, it was commissioned to sit in the grounds of a company based in Rosyth, Scotland. However, the factory closed and it was sold off, according to Gareth.
“I realised it was an important sculpture. My research led me to Malcolm Robertson’s website. He’s a multiple-award-winning sculptor with a broad portfolio of work dotted around the UK and abroad. His work is held in private collections and several sculptures are in Florida in the Unites States
“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.
Gareth, from Derby, bought the sculpture for £20,000, but ended up paying around £5,500 to have it delivered from Scotland to Derbyshire.
He added: “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.
“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.”
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.
“Robertson uses surreal imagery to create art which is visually striking and unusual.
“He’s been heavily involved in creating public artworks during his career so it would be fitting if an art connoisseur gave it a new home where people could see and appreciate it.”