Acclaimed artist devastated as work worth £1,000s sold for £20 in charity shop

An internationally acclaimed artist's work worth thousands was mistakenly sold at a charity shop for just £20.

Hilary J Baker, 60, is "devastated" that the unique etching of comedian Jasper Carrott was flogged at the KEMP Hospice charity shop in Bewdley, Worcestershire on July 13.

The piece – which had been privately commissioned by the funnyman himself – was on loan and displayed at the shop as part of the Foundry Artist Art Trail 2022.

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Hilary's commissions cost £5,000 or more, and now KEMP have launched an appeal to "reunite the picture with it’s rightful owner".

Hilary said: “The picture is a forensic etching print which required many visits to my Bewdley studio by Jasper, and I used his hair, fingerprints, blood and even spit in my unique forensic etching process.

"The picture means a great deal to me, and I was devastated to learn it had been mistakenly sold.

"It's horrific. Somebody's got a valuable piece for 20 quid that they don't own. It's caused so much distress".

Hilary has had pieces displayed in galleries all over the world, previously completing work for actor John Hurt, comedian Jo Brand and ex-footballer Trevor Francis.

She has said that she'll complete a portrait of the customer when the missing piece is returned.

Caroline Beech, CEO of KEMP Hospice said: “Our charity shops raise vital funds to help KEMP deliver care across the Wyre Forest, so we always want to support the community that helps to support us.

"We were devastated to learn that this genuine and unfortunate mistake had occurred, and everyone across the whole team is very concerned to see Hilary reunited with her picture as soon as possible.”

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Gary Barnes, head of retail at KEMP, said: “We have exhausted all avenues of tracking the picture down, which is why we are now appealing for help from our local community.

"We are genuinely sorry for what has happened. We’ve conducted an internal investigation and are confident that it was an unfortunate human error.

"We hope that the person who purchased the picture will understand and will get in touch to help us reunite it with Hilary.”

Anyone with information regarding the drawing's whereabouts has been urged to contact the hospice by emailing [email protected] or by calling 01562 756 000.

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