Fake or Fortune's Fiona Bruce 'gutted' as experts reveal bleak truth behind treasured family painting

FAKE or Fortune host Fiona Bruce could not hide her disappointment as experts revealed the bleak truth behind a treasured family painting.

The BBC presenter admitted she was "gutted" over the result of investigations into the piece which had an estimated value of up to £80,000 – if verified as authentic.

Fiona was joined by art dealer Philip Mould on the show as the pair set out to establish whether a painting depicting a post battle scene was the work of Victorian artist Edwin Landseer.

It was owned by Kathy and Barry Romeril, who had purchased it in 1987.

Kathy's recent suspicions that it could be a famous piece of art work led her to seek confirmation from the BBC show.

The pair were able to confirm the scene was a piece titled Time of War, but further investigations were needed to establish whether they were looking at a copy or an original painting.

Fiona's digging led her to discover the original had once been exhibited in London's Tate Gallery but was thought to have been destroyed in the great Thame Flood in 1928.

In turn, Phillip found moisture damage which would tied in with Fiona's findings.

He also discovered the painting's paint pigments were in line with what would have been used by Landseer at the time.

Everything was hanging in the balance as Fiona prepared to read out the final decision from Landseer expert Richard Ormond and Phillip warned the painting's worth would only be £2,000 to £4,000 if it turned out to be fake.

Opening up Ormond's letter, Fiona read: "Having reviewed the evidence I have come to the conclusion that the painting Time of War is not by Sir Edwin Landseer."

Struggling to contain her own disappointment, Fiona said to Kathy and Barry: "I’m really sorry. Oh it’s gutting isn’t it?"

Continuing to read from the letter, she went on: "The picture lacks the artist's spirited brushwork. It is summarily painted in the details and it presents a flat rather bland surface."

Oh it’s gutting isn’t it?"

At which Fiona exclaimed: "That’s a bit harsh!”

As the expert continued to explain he also reached his verdict as there was not enough flood damage for it to be considered as the original.

"Oh it’s so disappointing," she sighed.

"But, certainly Richard Ormond, and he is the man when it comes to Landseer, he’s absolutely categorical it’s not.”

Kathy added: "I am a little disappointed. One can’t argue if he is a Landseer man."

Barry also commented: "Obviously there’s an element of disappointment there has to be. It would be crass to say there isn’t."

Kathy went on to confirm she still loved the painting, despite the revelation.

Fake or Fortune? airs Wednesdays 9pm on BBC One.

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