Downing and Out
A â€˜Downing Streetâ€™ sign was withdrawn from an auction this week after doubts were raised over its authenticity.
A ‘Downing Street’ sign was withdrawn from an auction this week after doubts were raised over its authenticity.
The sign was sold to Bonhams as ‘Victorian memorabilia’ from the famous political address, but Cambridge City Council claim the sign was stolen 2 years ago from our very own Downing Street.
Bonhams have now been forced to withdraw the lot before it went under the hammer.
“If the provenance of an item is questioned it has to be withdrawn from the auction immediately,” said Julian Roup, head of the company’s press office.
“It was thought to have been one of a number of road signs sold off by Westminster City Council in the 1980s but we’re currently investigating the background of the piece.”
Colin Rosenstiel of Cambridge City Council, who flagged up the fake commented that the sign was “in exactly the same font and style as the sign in my own road”
“Cambridge signs are distinctive. Bonhams’s example is clearly different from those used in London in the 19th century, and if it were it would also have the postal district.”
The sign was expected to fetch between £4,000 and £6,000 at its Gentleman's Library Sale on January 20.
Cambridge signs seem to be popular among thieves; the Council recently caught someone selling a stolen plaque for Tennis Court Road on eBay.
However, sources within the council say they are considering following Westminster Council’s example, which sold 30 of its more modern tin street signs, including those for Leicester Square and Shaftesbury Avenue, on eBay for a total of about £18,000 last July.