Eddie the Eagle’s magnum opus is back on the market

Eddie the Eagles piece of art

A work of art by Olympic athlete, TV presenter and plucky underdog Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards is back on the market a decade after first being auctioned for charity.

Ski jumper Edwards was one of 22 national celebrities who, in the summer of 2004, produced a work of art on the theme of What Makes Me Smile for the Smile Cirencester campaign.

The campaign, organised by Cirencester Chamber of Commerce and supported by the Wilts & Gloucestershire Standard, had two aims – to turn the town centre into an art gallery by displaying pictures in shop windows, and to raise funds for Cotswold Care Hospice.

In the art world, as on the slopes, Eddie’s efforts came a long way from podium position when the paintings were auctioned by Moore Allen & Innocent in July 2004.

Sophie Ryder, famous for her sculptures featuring hares, achieved the top price of £600 for a Study of a Lady Hare in a Foetal Position in Charcoal, while a watercolour of circus performers under a big top by children’s book illustrator Frank Endersby commanded a respectable £300.

A sketch of pink pigs by the poet Pam Ayres did well at £240, and included a poem: “Here’s my picture, What do you think? I fear the pigs are much too pink!”

Eddie’s contribution, too, included a poem. His pen and ink drawing featured a bobble-hatted skier descending a mountain, called Eagle’s Leap, while on the other side of the mountain, stick figures attempted a jump.

The poem reads: “There was a young man from Ciren, Who spent his days a cryin’, So he picked up some skis, And then bent his knees, And now he can’t stop a smilin’. It made £30.

Now, a decade later, a mystery vendor will be wondering if he or she can turn a profit. Edwards’ celebrity currency is certainly higher now than it was in 2004 – he reached the final of Let’s Dance for Sport Relief in 2012, won the celebrity diving show Splash! in 2013, and commentated on celebrity ski challenge The Jump earlier this year.

The piece, which is signed by the artist, will be sold by Moore Allen & Innocent in Cirencester on Friday, April 25 with an estimate of £30 to £50.

For a full auction catalogue, log on to www.mooreallen.co.uk

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