Watercolours estimated to earn £10,000 in Stourbridge auction

Watercolour pictures of gnomes made famous on a 1970s TV show have fetched around £5,000 at auction.

The images of Baldmoney, Sneezewort, Dodder and Cloudberry watercolours went under the hammer at Fieldings Auctioneers in Stourbridge.

The 200 paintings drew in large national attention with a packed out auction house and busy phone lines seeing all but 15 of the 40 lots find a new home.

Bill Lacey, Fieldings Auctioneers picture consultant, said: "The total came to about £5,000 – we were quite pleased with they have made so far.

"The vendor is absolutely delighted – we did have a lot of national interest and several people bidding on the telephone.

"We are going to put them up for sale again on April 21.

"I have not sold anything quite like this before, though we have sold a lot of book illustrations.

"They were bought by a gentleman in Solihull who was very interested in the author of the original book.

"He found these down south somewhere in London and made an offer some years ago.

"He took the whole lot away and they remained in his attic for may years – he has sold a lot of pictures with us and I think he is down-sizing."

It was a successful auction for Fieldings - who saw an early 20th Century French violin by Silvestre and Maucotel with an high estimate of £3,000 go on to fetch £5,600.

A 19th century Dutch oil painting 'a night market' by Andreas Franciscus Vermeulen was also tipped to earn a high estimate of £1,500 but earned £2,400.

The watercolours, by John Worsley, were used as story boards for the Bladmoney, Sneezewort, Dodder and Cloudberry TV series in 1975 and are all signed and dated.

The characters depicted come from Little Grey Men – a children’s fantasy novel written by Denys Watkins-Pitchford.

John Worsley was a prolific British artist and illustrator, best known for his naval battle scenes, and portraits of high-ranking officers and political figures.

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