Postie auctions rare Lord Lichfield prints to pay off debts

ART COLLECTION ... Alan Briscoe has started to auction off his art collection.

ART COLLECTION ... Alan Briscoe has started to auction off his art collection.

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RARE prints by society photographer Lord Lichfield are being sold by a former Washington postman who made – and then lost – thousands of pounds by spread-betting.

Alan Briscoe, 60, managed to win up to £250,000 a year, thanks to his gambling, despite making just £150 a week as a part-time postie.

AUCTIONED OFF .... Fred Wyrley-Birch Valuer at Anderson and Garland with Lord Lichfield print of Henry Cooper, part of Alan Briscoe collection to sold off.

AUCTIONED OFF .... Fred Wyrley-Birch Valuer at Anderson and Garland with Lord Lichfield print of Henry Cooper, part of Alan Briscoe collection to sold off.

He bought 38 original Lichfield prints – the dearest costing £90 – eight years ago at the height of his betting success.

But his luck slumped after bookies changed the terms of his account, bringing an end to his winning ways.

The bachelor retired from the Royal Mail in September and is now auctioning the prints, as well as others by Damien Hirst and Australian artist Sydney Nolan.

He hopes the sale, taking place in Newcastle later this month, will raise £10,000 as that will be enough to clear his debts.

Mr Briscoe, of Saddleback, Albany, said: “The betting became really profitable, especially one particular year when I turned over an awful lot of money. I’d buy a lot of things, including ceramics and first-edition books. I bought the Lichfield prints as an investment for my retirement.”

Mr Briscoe’s prints – produced using a technique called Cibachrome which gives very rich, glossy images – include ones of boxer Henry Cooper, actor John Gielgud and dramatist Tom Stoppard.

The Hirst picture is a one-off design signed by U2 frontman Bono.

The collection goes under the hammer at Anderson and Garland Auctioneers on Thursday, March 28 where it is expected they will go for at least £6,000.

Lord Lichfield, who died in 2005, was a favourite of the royals.