A set of unnerving drawings by notorious prisoner Charles Bronson is coming up for auction in Huddersfield.
And this time they’re not fake.
Auctioneer Collin Hufton previously offered some of 64-year-old Bronson’s art for sale and had to withdraw it when the convict’s former fiancée Lorraine Etherington got in touch to say the pieces were almost certainly not created by him.
Almost two years on Mr Hufton, of Colne Valley Auctions based in Lockwood, says he has paperwork to show provenance for the latest items. The three drawings, two dating from 2004 and one from 2017, will go into a live auction on Monday.
“These drawings are 100 per cent genuine,” he claims.
“Since I bought the fakes Bronson sent me an original to my home address, which I have still got.
“The new ones are really, really good. One, called The Birdman, in particular is brilliant. It’s spooky, really.”
The Birdman drawing is an exhortation for release and contains the credo “I am a born again artist. I swopped my shotgun for a paint brush.”
Bronson, who enjoys a reputation as the UK’s most notorious prisoner, is currently serving life at HMP Wakefield. He has been in prison for the majority of his life. A known artist, in 2014 he changed his name to Charles Salvador as a nod to Surrealist painter Salvador Dali, and has won 11 awards from inmates’ art trust the Koestler Trust.
He draws on paper using crayon, felt tip pen or pencil. All of the artwork is signed and dated. One of the pieces being auctioned is of two cells at Broadmoor and carries the inscriptions “Salvador is back”, “Welcome to Hell” and “Daddy Bear strangled Mummy Bear, and ran off with Goldilocks.”
The final piece shows Bronson swimming with sharks with the line “When your time’s up... it’s all over.”
Mr Hufton says there is a fascination with prisoner art, and especially with Bronson. He estimates the drawings could sell for anywhere between £200 and £1,200 each, with the Birdman drawing fetching between £500 and £700 on its own.
“There are massive collectors out there of his work,” he reveals. “It depends how nasty the inscriptions are,”
The art is being sold on behalf of the Newcastle-based charity Families in Care, and has been provided by a trustee.
“Bronson is doing tons of charity work now because they are thinking of paroling him,” adds Mr Hufton.
Born Michael Gordon Peterson, Bronson changed his name to that of the ‘70s tough guy actor when he enjoyed a brief period of freedom and became a bare-knuckle boxer. Later he changed his name again: to Charles Ali Ahmed, followed by Charles Salvador three years ago.