Lost painting by David Bowie, purchased for $5 at a landfill, could sell for thousands

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A coating by stone icon David Bowie is expected to merchantability for thousands of dollars successful an online creation auction aft idiosyncratic picked it up for a fewer bucks astatine a donation halfway astatine an Ontario landfill.

The portrait, titled "DHead XLVI," is portion of a bid of astir 47 works that Bowie created betwixt 1995 and 1997, according to Rob Cowley, president of Cowley Abbott, which is handling the auction.

The portion has Bowie's distinctive signature connected the backmost of the 9.75 x 8 inch canvas, on with a tag that has his name, the day 1997 and a statement of the coating arsenic "acrylic and machine collage connected canvas." There besides was a statement from a London framing institution that Cowley said did enactment for Bowie and different celebrated musicians earlier it went retired of business.

David Bowie's signature and an identifying statement   tin  beryllium  seen connected  the backmost  of the painting.

David Bowie's signature and an identifying statement tin beryllium seen connected the backmost of the painting.

Credit: From Cowley Abbott

Cowley told CNN that the seller, who has not been identified, paid $5 Canadian (about $4.10 USD) for the coating past summertime astatine a donation halfway astatine a landfill successful South River, which is astir 3 hours northbound of Toronto.

The idiosyncratic isn't an creation collector and conscionable liked the painting, Cowley said.

"The coating itself caught their eye," Cowley said. "They thought it was an absorbing coating earlier they turned it astir and saw the labels connected the back."

Cowley said the seller contacted them astir the coating successful November and they started moving to authenticate the work.

In summation to online research, they contacted adept Andy Peters, who's been collecting Bowie autographs since 1978 and started authenticating his signature pursuing the singer's 2016 decease aft suffering from crab successful an effort to combat the flood of fakes that were disposable for sale.

"When I archetypal saw the painting, I knew what it was straightaway," Peters told CNN successful an email.

He said helium remembered it being sold connected a now-defunct Bowie creation website backmost successful the aboriginal 2000s.

"I did not request to spot the autograph connected the backmost due to the fact that I knew, but evidently the signature sealed the deal," Peters said.

"The disorder lies successful that helium changed his signature truthful overmuch during his 55-year career, but determination are definite nuances successful each azygous autograph that forgers cannot replicate."

Cowley said that Bowie painted friends, household and different musicians for the DHead series, and adjacent did immoderate self-portraits, but helium didn't place his subjects.

"In this case, adjacent the sex is hard to discern due to the fact that it doesn't person immoderate facial features too the broadside profile," Cowley said. "It's rather a striking portrait, but it's precise hard to accidental precisely who it mightiness be."

The coating was expected to fetch an estimated $9,000 to $12,000 CSD ($7,381 to $9,841 USD) but it soared past that terms connected the archetypal time of the sale. The auction ends June 24.

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