Paul McCartney drawings withdrawn from sale at auction

Cartoon drawing by Paul McCartney. Courtesy of Dominic Winter auctioneers
Image caption The drawings were made by Sir Paul McCartney in the 1970s

A set of drawings by Sir Paul McCartney have been withdrawn from sale at auction after a legal challenge over ownership.

The cartoon characters, drawn in the 1970s as prototypes for a part-animated film, were due to be sold on Thursday in Gloucestershire.

They were being sold by the daughter of animator Eric Wylam, who died in 1997.

Lawyers stepped in on the eve of the sale claiming they were unaware that Sir Paul had given them to Mr Wylam.

Mr Wylam's daughter, Maggie Thornton, who lives in Tewkesbury, said the drawings had been in her family for almost 40 years.

"My father was given a pile of scrap paper covered in rough drawings and I always believed they belonged to my father," she said.

No choice

Chris Albury from Dominic Winter auctioneers in South Cerney, said he had no choice but to withdraw the items from sale.

"The lawyers say they're still Paul McCartney's property as the film was made by his company MPL Communications," he said.

"As such any work done by Paul or the team working on the film should have been returned to MPL or Paul at the end of its usage.

"But this is contrary to what Maggie believes and what her father always told her."

Mr Albury said the auctioneers had "made considerable efforts" to draw the attention of Sir Paul McCartney to their potential sale.

"As far back as March we were emailing, writing and sending scans of all the images explaining where they'd come from and asking whether there was any good reason why they shouldn't be sold and we heard nothing."

The pictures, which were designs for the unreleased film The Bruce McMouse Show, had been expected to fetch £25,000.

Mr Albury said: "We've got to make sure that according to the law we give them back to their rightful owner, be that Maggie herself or Sir Paul McCartney and MPL Communications."

Mrs Thornton said: "Hopefully it's all just been a misunderstanding."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites