Notorious violent prison hardman turned artist Charles Bronson has taken pity on duped auctioneer Collin Hufton.
But the pictures, expected to raise up to £1,200 at auction, were found to be fakes, leaving Collin out of pocket .
Now Bronson, who changed his name to Charles Salvador as a nod to Surrealist painter Salvador Dali, has contacted Collin from solitary confinement – and sent him one of his original artworks.
The A4-sized pencil drawing, completed in 2006, has been newly-signed by the artist with a personal message – and ‘threat’ – handwritten on the back.
The gift came with a warning not to sell the picture and dad-of-five Collin said: “It’s a nice gesture and I’m just very pleased to have it. I won’t be getting on the wrong side of him!”
The picture shows the outside of a prison cell door with what appear to be dragonflies fluttering outside.
Two balloons on strings feature the slogans: “It’s nice to be nice” and “Come on you Spurs.”
Collin, of Cowcliffe, reckons the artwork could be worth £1,000 and as much as £5,000 in 20 years.
Bronson has won awards for his art and Collin said: “I’ve sold good art before and he is a good artist. This picture will be staying in the family.”
The Charles Salvador Art Foundation strictly monitors Bronson’s work and told Collin his three drawings were fakes. He withdrew them from sale and destroyed them.
Then, out of the blue, Bronson’s fiancee Lorraine Etherington contacted Collin asking for his address as the artist had a surprise for him.
The picture arrived in a parcel complete with a letter of authenticity.
The letter from Lorraine on foundation notepaper says: “Please find enclosed the artwork from Charlie. We’re quite used to dealing with fake art turning up (it’s becoming a full-time job of late) but Charlie felt for you.
“So please find enclosed the art he did for you. He has asked me to reiterate that this is for you and not for sale.”
She then delivered a message from Bronson who said: “Be warned, Collin, I have my spies out so don’t let me see it turn up on e-Bay.
“When I give someone a piece of my art it is a piece of me so look after it!”
In the handwritten note on the back of the picture Bronson wrote: “Sadly you’ve been had. It’s not my art. Here’s an old one so you can compare it.”
He said his art had depth and substance and told of his life’s journey and feelings.
He added: “Created by a faker. He wants to pray I never bump into him.”
Collin said: “It’s a gift and I will treasure it. It’s going nowhere.”
The picture can be viewed on request at the auction house at Britannia Mill. Contact Collin on 07880 827374.