Fortune rather than fake for Vuillard piece bought in Diss

Fake or Fortune's Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce - (C) BBC - Photographer: Glenn Dearing.
Fake or Fortune's Philip Mould and Fiona Bruce - (C) BBC - Photographer: Glenn Dearing.

It was a case of fortune rather than fake on Sunday evening as a painting bought at a Diss auction house seven years ago was proved to be genuine on a BBC television program - and now worth in excess of £300,000.

Purchased at TW Gaze in Roydon Road in 2007, it was proved the picture, depicting a Parisian café scene, was a genuine piece by Eduoard Vuillard, a French post-impressionist painter.

Keith Tutt, of Hardingham, Norfolk, bought the piece at auction from a Suffolk family for £11,000.

But after it was revealed to a genuine Vuillard piece, it could now be worth almost 30 times what was paid at auction.

The picture was the subject of the BBC’s Fake or Fortune, which was broadcast on Sunday. Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould ventured across Europe to gather research in an attempt to verify the picture.

Experts at the Wildenstein Institute, in Paris, unanimously voted to credit the picture as a genuine Vuillard picture at the climax of Sunday’s show.

Auction rooms manager at TW Gaze, Matt Brand, said: “The program was well put together. It shows you the lengths you have to go to prove these things sometimes.

“At the end of the day it needed the science and history to prove exactly what the painting was.

“I was delighted for the purchaser. It was shame for our particular vendor that he did not have access to that information at the time.”

Fake or Fortune, series 3, episode 1, Vuillard, is available to watch on the BBC iPlayer until February 16 at