Fake or Fortune returns for new series with Elisabeth Frink sculpture

Fake or Fortune returns to the BBC this month for a brand new series.

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould will be back to solve more mysteries from the artworld in the 11th series of Fake or Fortune.

The new episodes start on Tuesday, 26 September at 8PM on BBC One.

Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould at the scrap heap where the sculpture was found.
Fiona Bruce and Philip Mould at the scrap heap where the sculpture was found. Credit: BBC Studios/Anna Gordon

In the first episode, Fiona and Philip venture into the serene Essex countryside in pursuit of one of the 20th century’s most illustrious artists, Dame Elisabeth Frink. Their quest revolves around an enigmatic sculpture, discovered by owner Amanda Kirke at a local car boot sale.

Amanda’s initial online search led her to a figure resembling one titled Small Warrior, crafted by Elisabeth Frink in a limited edition of ten back in 1956, one of which was once in the possession of David Bowie.

With art gallery with an established history of dealing in Frink’s creations declining to authenticate the sculpture due to the absence of verifiable provenance, Philip and Fiona rendezvous with Amanda at her local scrapyard, a place she visited in her search for clues.

While Fiona embarks on a mission to locate an authenticated Frink Small Warrior for comparison with Amanda’s find, Philip delves into the archives of the original London gallery where Frink’s Small Warrior made its debut in the art world in 1959. Will the gallery provide insights into the production and sale of these figures and their current whereabouts?

After successfully tracking down a verified Small Warrior, the team encounters disconcerting disparities between it and Amanda’s sculpture. This prompts a quest to locate additional authenticated figures from the same original edition. Armed with scientific analysis, state-of-the-art laser scanning technology, and the expert opinion of a fellow sculptor with knowledge of Frink’s work, Philip and Fiona aim to present compelling evidence to the authentication committee, substantiating Amanda’s sculpture as genuine.

If Amanda’s sculpture is indeed an authentic Frink, it could command a substantial value of up to £60,000. However, if it falls short of authenticity, its scrap metal worth is a mere £10.

Fake or Fortune airs at 8PM on Tuesday, 26 September 2023.

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