It is every investors dream - making 416,666% on your initial investment; and that is exactly the potential for one art enthusiast who spotted a little drawing in a jumble sale and then discovered its potential...

A man who bought what is thought to be an original Andy Warhol drawing at a jumble sale for £3 has put it for sale on eBay – with bids starting at a princely £1.25m.

The buyer in question, on a trip to Las Vegas, US, picked up a collection of unidentified sketches in Las Vegas with experts now saying one of them was a previously unknown drawing by Pop Art legend Andy Warhol.

The pencil and graphite sketch has been formally valued at £1.3m, but the potential value could well be worth up to 10 times that.

The pencil and graphite drawing is thought to have been done by Warhol in the late 1930s when he was ten or eleven and is of singer and actor Rudy Vallee. If genuine, it is argued that the birth of Pop Art as we know it would shift back by almost two decades and show Warhol was already doing it in childhood.

However, pivotally, the sketch was not officially ratified by the Warhol Authentication Board before it disbanded.

“I’ve had experts from Sotheby’s and Bonhams who are convinced it is original, without a shadow of doubt. But without an official authentication boards’ approval they are reluctant to speak publicly. I think it is an incredibly important work. When I first found it, I sent it to the Andy Warhol Authentication Board, who wrote their unique number in the corner. They sent it back to me saying they did not have enough evidence to support the fact it could be real. But it’s important to note that when they have the slightest doubt about a piece they simply stamp ‘denied’ on it in red letters. This was not the case with this picture.”

The work was picked up at a sale of property that belonged to a man who said his aunt had been a friend and carer of the young Warhol. 

The drawing is now on eBay – item number 350844410846 – with a starting bid of £1.25m and if it sells what an investment that'll turn out to be!

If you are interested in the investment potential of art and would like further information or to discuss the artists and artwork that we have available in the gallery please call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email