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The Fallen Madonna with a big price tag; Listen very carefully.. ve shall sell this only once.

Byline: Adrian Hearn

The Fallen Madonna With The Big Boobies topless portrait from BBC sitcom 'Allo 'Allo has been sold at auction for PS15,000 - smashing its pre-sale estimate.

The painting by the fictional artist Van Clomp was a central prop in the World War II-based comedy starring the late Gordon Kaye as Rene Artois.

It depicts a bare-breasted woman with a mountain scene behind and was the featured in a number of scenes in the wartime comedy romp. For the past decade, it has been hanging on a living room wall in the Midlands.

But it is now heading to France following a fierce bidding war at East Bristol Auctions.

The owner bought it from the production designer of the final series Shaun Moore at a school fundraiser in 2007. They had been expecting it to sell for around PS5000.

However, there was international interest in the "masterpiece" when it was auctioned in Hanham, Bristol, yesterday.

In the David Croft and Jeremy Lloyd sitcom, the occupying Nazis were desperate to steal the artwork from the French Resistance and Rene. Auctioneer Andrew Stowe said: "The buyer on the phone had his entire family gathered around him, and we could hear the cheer they gave out once the hammer fell.

"It is an absolutely staggering result - a world record for a Van Clomp and the painting is 'going home' to France."

The painting was a key prop in the sitcom, which ran from 1982 to 1992.

Kaye's Rene was a cafe owner who hid the coveted painting from the Germans by wearing it under his shirt and rolling it inside a knockwurst sausage.

It is believed the painting was designed by a set maker for the show and several were made - but only one now exists.

Prior to the sale, Stowe described the painting as "an absolutely iconic piece of television history". He added: "This isn't just a background prop, this is something the entire show was based around.

"In an ironic way, this 'worthless' fictional painting has become its own masterpiece.

"It just brings a smile to everyone's face. "I can't think of a more iconic piece of artwork from a British television show - it's a true classic."


HERE IS THE NUDE Fallen Madonna made three times estimate

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Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Dec 2, 2018
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