My friend and fellow Searle enthusiast Uli Meyer has spotted a poor Searle copy coming up for auction at Bonhams The established auction houses never believe us when we point out forgeries. 'Who are you to comment' one well known small gallery near the British Museum once snootily told me when I pointed out they were selling a Searle copy. Our opinions just weren't accepted as we weren't qualified to comment in their estimation. I can see they might take the challenge as an affront to their informed expertise. I used to forward links to Ronald and he would chase them up himself but now he's gone there's no one to protect the casual buyer. Uli writes:
'The image on the right is a terrible tracing of a drawing by Ronald Searle, on the left. Incredibly this embarrassing, awful fake is currently up for auction at the famous auction house Bonhams. I made them aware that the drawing is a fake and a terrible one at that and sent them the image of the original. The 'expert' I spoke to still isn't sure and incredibly, it is still up for sale. How can a reputable auction house employ so called experts that can't tell that this atrocity is not a drawing by one of the most influential graphic artists of the 20th century. It boggles my mind.'
There appears to be an amateur forger in the UK who intermittently slips poor copies onto the market- always at a different auctioneers. I've tackled this issue before where the eBay seller was challenged in the comments section and justifies the sale with the disclaimer 'after Ronald Searle'. Read it here
**UPDATE** the piece has been removed from the sale