He rifled through the family heirlooms gathering dust in the attic and stumbled upon paintings and etchings by his German stepfather Erich Wolfsfeld a Berlin artist who once won the admiration of Kaiser Wilhelm II and whose works are displayed across the world.Wolfsfeld had settled in England in 1939 after being forced to flee the Nazis as a Jew. He died in 1956 aged 72 but his works have been on display in the National Portrait Gallery of London and Victoria and Albert Museum. Now Dr Block, from Mossley Hill, Liverpool, is putting the collection of his stepfather’s works under the hammer at Frank Marshall’s auctioneers in Knutsford, Cheshire on July 7. He said: “I got the paintings from my mother who had kept them in her loft after my stepfather and died and I just put them in my loft and forgot about them. “They have been in the loft for over twenty years, it just completely went out of my mind. Now I’m widowed I don’t need a four-bedroomed house with a conservatory and a garage and everything. The fact is I simply forgot all about these paintings. When my step-father and mother died we were given these paintings. “I wanted to have the loft insulated so I went in to clear the contents out and there these pictures were. There are hundreds of etchings and drawings. There’s a catalogue of 1985 in the Belgrave Gallery, London. “I just thougth ‘what should I do with them now?’ There were about twenty framed oil paintings and lots of others unframed and partly finished drawings and etchings, all sorts. “It’s a fantastic find. I did know my step-father was a painter and had done very well for myself but I didn’t reallty know him because I spent a lot of time in Israel. I just knew he was very gifted. “I just hope that someone will buy these paintings and that they will go to a good home.” Nick Hall, Principal Auctioneer at Marshalls said: “This is a unique collection and a rare opportunity for someone to acquire art work from one of the 20th Century’s great unsung heroes from the art world.”
The collection of 100 paintings had been hidden away in Max Block’s loft after they were passed onto him 20 years ago by his late mother. When the retired research chemist’s wife Etta died last year, Dr Block wanted to downsize and move home – and decided to insulate the loft to help with the house sale.
The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://antiques20.wordpress.com/2009/06/30/widower-finds-forgotten-artworks-worth-100000-in-attic/trackback/