‘Lot 191, ‘The Homecoming’ by H.L. Pritchard.’

‘This sculpture in the classic Greek style, dating from 1918-19, in bronze. It depicts the artist being held in the arms of her fiancé, Private Graham Colquhoun.’

‘Ms. Pritchard was inspired to create this work after watching soldiers returning from the First World War being greeted by wives, fiancées and loved ones at Euston Station one evening. Expecting her fiancé to be on the train, only later did she learn he had been killed in action on the final day of the war.’

‘She sculpted this memorial of their fictional reunion, which has stayed in the family ever since.’

‘There is no reserve on this lot. It is being sold by the State having been seized following the death of the artist and liquidation of the family assets.’

‘Do I have an opening bid of five thousand pounds?’

‘Four thousand?’

‘Two thousand?’

‘I should remind the buyers that failure to secure a sale will result in the sculpture being sold and melted down for it’s raw materials.’

‘Do I have one thousand pounds?’

‘Very well. The lot remains unsold.’

A final knock of the gavel echoes.

‘Moving on ladies and gentleman, lot 192.’

Copyright E. A. Wickland

Written as part of Sunday Photo Fiction. Write a story of around 200 words based on the photo prompt given (above). Hosted by Al Forbes. For more details visit HERE.

To read more stories based on this week’s prompt, visit HERE.

41 responses to “THE AUCTION”

  1. Sad, but in some ways it might be more fitting for the memento to disappear now that both of the subjects have, if there’s no one out there who’d truly appreciate it. And if the recycled metal ended up in a number of different pieces, you could see that as the unfortunate couple having left a legacy after all. A really good take and sympathetically written Iain.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You’ve really managed to pack in quite story into this little flash, including the origins of the sculpture, and its resting place. I really well conceived take, I think.

    The only thing I would change is that stray comma in “It’s raw materials”.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So sad! The death of her dreams was bad enough. But the death of her art which could’ve lived for centuries is a tragedy. A heart-wrenching and wonderfully told tale, Iain.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I really liked how you structured this, as the auctioneer telling not only the story of the sculpture’s creation, but then also of its ending. Touching and sad on both accounts. Although that must have been a pretty odd crowd at the auction. Usually people will pay *more* for a piece of art or furniture that has an interesting story behind it, especially something sentimental and historical like that. I know I would have! Imagine how much more interesting it would be to tell the story of this sculpture to a visitor you’re showing around your house than to only be able to say, “Oh this? No story, I just bought it because it looks nice.”

    Liked by 3 people

    • Haha very true. Often I think the buyers are looking for the name of the artist rather than the piece itself – unfortunately our artist here has no reputation to speak of.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh such a tragically ending story of both the artist and her work . Sometimes great art and artists are lost in time and only a few shine in their piece of work/s.

    Liked by 1 person

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