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Ronnie Kray's painting for East Ender Barbara Windsor up for auction

PUBLISHED: 08:00 04 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:07 05 October 2010

Ronnie Kray's painting is inscribed to Shoreditch legend Barbara Windsor.

Ronnie Kray's painting is inscribed to Shoreditch legend Barbara Windsor.

A painting by notorious East End gangster Ronnie Kray has surfaced and will join three others from the Kray twins in an auction later this month. The picture is dedicated to Shoreditch showbiz legend Barbara Windsor with a message on the back reading: ""Barb Babs Winser

By Biz Carson

A painting by notorious East End gangster Ronnie Kray has surfaced and will join three others from the Kray twins in an auction later this month.

The picture is dedicated to Shoreditch showbiz legend Barbara Windsor with a message on the back reading: "Barb Babs Winser."

It shows the Kray twins sitting on a riverbank fishing while older brother Charlie runs to join them.

"This one might be the most attractive in the auction because of the name not being spelled correctly," said Chris Ewbank, an auctioneer from Ewbank Clarke Gammon Wellers.

Despite the misspelling, it is still Chris's favourite out of the lot of four.

"It's quite a sweet sort of image for an East End family," he said. "I don't know whether they went on holiday or if the brothers just found a stream to fish in.

"In Ronnie's paintings, there's nearly always a white house which is sort of a symbol of childhood and innocence.

"Reggie's are a bit more dark, foreboding. The skies are cloudy."

All of the paintings lack any strong measure of artistic merit, Chris said, but he estimates their value between £300and £500 at auction.

Other Kray paintings have sold for several thousand pounds.

"They're cult figures," Chris said. "I'm sure that's the main attraction."

The twins studied art while serving life terms in Parkhurst Prison and traded their paintings with fellow prisoners.

A former inmate said: "The Krays were hard men when they were on their own turf, but they were softies in prison.

"When I did something for the Krays, they gave me a picture. I gave some to my mates and the rest I just kept."

Now the former inmate's family is selling the four paintings, two from each twin.

The four paintings will be auctioned as part of a two-day vintage antique sale in Surrey, beginning June 30.


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