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One of the fake prints purporting to be a version of the 1931 Cyril Power linocut ‘Matriarchy’.

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Sheridan Tandy, 68, of Taunton in Somerset, was arrested on suspicion of fraud after police were contacted earlier this year by a Bonhams specialist concerned about three linocuts they had received for valuation. As genuine prints, their combined value would have exceeded £6000, but they appeared to be so recent that they still had the aroma of paint and the provenance provided was also disjointed.

Further enquiries by police revealed that another linocut had been consigned to Sotheby’s on the same day, while Tandy had also managed to sell four fake Grosvenor School prints through a regional auction house for over £5000 in October 2014.

Admitting the offences, Tandy told police that he produced the prints to sell as he was short of money.

He also sent an email to ATG headed “Faker makes personal apology” and saying he “would like to offer my sincere apologies and regrets to the collectors and auction experts for my foolishness in producing lino prints after Grosvenor School artists”.

He was sentenced at Southwark Crown Court earlier in December.

DC Ray Swan, of the Metropolitan Police’s Art & Antiques unit, said: “Tandy used a lifetime of knowledge and expertise to produce forged linocut prints, some of which he managed to sell.

“The Art & Antiques unit works closely with London auction houses, museums and galleries to ensure that genuine collectors are not defrauded in this way.”