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'La Colombe'

Picasso - La Colombe

It was probably one of my better buys as things worked out.
The sale was in October 1965, held by Langlois Auctioneers in St. Helier, to disperse of oil and watercolour paintings, drawings and fine bronzes, the property of Mrs N.G. McLean, the widow of a millionaire collector who had recently died.

We wanted a picture to complete the furnishing of our flat, which was above our restaurant in Portelet Bay.
I had recently built in a polished granite surround to the fireplace.  It needed a picture to complete the scene.

There were some wonderful works for sale by Augustus John, Paul Klee, Georges Rouault, A. Rodin, Duncan Grant, Lucien Pissaro, Tsugouharu Fougita, William Nicholson, Monticelli, Pablo Picasso and others.

The top price was 2,100 pounds sterling for 'The Lemon Grove' signed watercolour by Paul Klee.

When we viewed the items for sale we were certain that the majority would make much more than we were prepared to pay.  However, I saw Lot 49 was not even hanging on display but just propped up on the floor against a wall with a few others that were also not reckoned.

Lot 49 was catalogued as - P. Picasso 'The Dove'.  Lithograph in black and white. Artists Proof.

In fact it was well framed in a gilt frame with a wide mid-green mount, which complemented the black and white lithograph perfectly.

It was ours for 28 pounds sterling !  We were delighted, and proudly hung it in its new home.  It was perfect, especially since we had white fantail pigeons in a dovecot in our beautiful garden outside the restaurant.

After a couple of years we decided to leave Jersey and started disposing of some of our collection of art and other collectables.

I had always thought that our 'Dove' had been wrongly attributed by Langlois.  I contacted Sotheby's, who suggested I should take it out of its frame.  I did so and under the mount was the signature 'Picasso' 25/100 (or some other figures).

Sotheby's sold our Dove in 1968 for 2,700 pounds sterling.

It pleased me that a picture we bought because we liked it, not intending to re-sell, should turn out to be the best profit maker of many we had bought for re-sale.

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