Print of King’s painting of Balmoral sells for thousands at auction

It is thought to be the first time a print by a reigning monarch has been sold at auction.

Print of King Charles’s painting of Balmoral snapped up for more than £5,000 at Bonhams auction ITV

A print of a watercolour of Balmoral painted by King Charles has been bought at auction for more than eight times its estimate.

Thought to be the first time a print by a reigning monarch has been sold at auction, a private British collector paid £5,738 on Thursday for the print, which is number 18 of 100.

Hamish Wilson, curator of Bonhams’ Scottish Home sale, said: “This charming print combined the King’s passion for painting and his deep affection for Scotland.

“It acquired special resonance and appeal, of course, because of recent events and I am not surprised there was such keen bidding nor that it exceeded its estimate by so much.”

Prints that Charles has done in the past have usually sold for between £400 and £600, which means the sale brought in more than eight times the top estimate.

The framed print of the famous Scottish castle, where Queen Elizabeth II spent her final days earlier this year, is signed and dated “Charles 2001” in pencil and comes with a certificate of authenticity.

The print was reproduced from the a watercolour by the King – then known as Prince Charles – and on the certificate of authenticity it said: “As a painting subject, it poses many artistic challenges, not least because of the complexity of its design and the many towers, turrets and embellishments.

“This picture reveals HRH The Prince of Wales’s fascination with the setting of the castle and its sense of place.

“He relates the skyline of the building with the rhythm of the trees and the mountains beyond, and contrasts the theatricality of the man-made with the excitement and drama of nature.”

The lithograph is printed on paper made at the St Cuthbert’s Mill in Somerset and carries a special watermark.

Before the sale, staff at the auctioneer in Edinburgh said they had been “flabbergasted” in the interest shown in the print.

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