Gloucestershire

Cottingley Fairies hoax photo sells for £1,000

Cottingley Fairies Image copyright Moore Allen & Innocent
Image caption Alice and the Fairies, featuring nine-year-old Frances, was sold for £1,050.

A 100-year-old print of the famous Cottingley Fairies photo hoax has sold for £1,050 at auction.

The original pictures were posed in 1917 by Elsie Wright and Frances Griffiths in Cottingley, Yorkshire.

The fake images fooled many people including Sherlock Holmes author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

It was not until 1983 that Frances confessed the photographs were a hoax - although she maintained one of the images was genuine.

Elsie, then aged 16, and her nine-year-old cousin Frances, created the photos by making cardboard cut-outs of fairies, held in place by string and hair clips.

Image copyright Moore Allen & Innocent
Image caption A print of Iris and the Gnome, posed by 16-year-old Elsie, had been expected to fetch between £500 to £800 but no bids matched the reserve price

Two prints were on offer at the auction held at Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester earlier.

Alice and the Fairies, featuring Frances, sold for £1,050 but Iris and the Gnome, posed by Elsie, went unsold as no bids met the £500 reserve price.

The photographs once belonged to the Reverend George Vale Owen, one of the best-known spiritualists of the early-20th Century, and a friend of Conan Doyle.

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