Antiques Roadshow guest refuses to give painting back to owner after staggering valuation

An Antiques Roadshow guest refused to return a painting she had been given by her mother after realising what it was worth.

The show, which was filmed in Idaho, saw antiques expert Colleene Fesko examining the Earl Moran pin-up girl painting.

The owner explained that the piece of art had spent over a decade in her mother’s house, after she bought it for around $200 (£157).

The guest explained she had had her eye on the painting ever since it arrived at her mum’s and after recently remodelling her home, her mum ‘finally’ let her have it for her own house.

“As much as I can remember, it spent 10 to 15 years at my mum’s house,” she told Colleene.

“She bought it at an estate sale and she paid I think around $200 for it.

“I’ve just remodelled my house and I made it all 1950s. I kept telling my mum, ‘So can I have the picture now?’ So finally she gave it to me.”

Examining the painting, Colleene explained that it was during the mid 1950s that Moran found ‘fame and fortune’ with his artwork, specifically in Los Angeles where his work focussed on pin-ups.

The woman explained her mother had given her the painting.


Colleene explained: “This was probably done as an advertisement for a car company or even a sporting company because you also have the sailboat and the motorboat but its real appeal is in being a pin-up.”

The guest confessed she had never had the painting valued, adding: “I have no idea, honestly. I just painted a wall in my house the pink on the car so…

“And it looks really good in my house, so as to the value, no, I’ve never, never looked into it.”

When Colleene finally revealed the expected value of the painting, the guest was blown away.

She was in shock over the value.


“Well, Moran’s paintings are valued on a sliding scale but not the usual sliding scale,” she said.

“The more clothes that slide off the pin-up girl, the more valuable they tend to be. This is a very special one, she’s a lovely wholesome young girl, wearing the bright green bathing suit.

“The great period car, the period sailing vessels and motorboat, the cute dog, the nice signature – I would be estimating it between $20,000 (£15,797) and $30,000 (£23,696) at auction.”

The woman was in total shock and could be seen with her hands covering her face.

Laughing that she wasn’t going to give the painting back to her mother, she added: “Is my mum going to see this? Because I’m not giving it back!”

There could be a family row brewing here…

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