Published: 00:00, 01 December 2005
| Updated: 08:50, 01 December 2005
KENT look set to mark next year’s centenary of their inaugural county championship title win of 1906 by putting their most famous cricketing painting on the market.
The oil on canvas work by Albert Chevallier Tayler, which depicts Kent’s title-winning side fielding during their Canterbury Week match with Lancashire, looks set to change hands 100 years after it was commissioned by the club.
For the past seven years the painting has been on loan to the Marylebone Cricket Club at Lord’s, but Kent believe the time has come to cash in on their most valuable piece of cricketing memorabilia with a potential £500,000 price tag.
Kent chief executive Paul Millman said: "At this stage selling the painting is an option we are considering and much depends on what it might be worth, whether there is a buyer and if the price can be achieved.
"At this moment in time the club gains little from the painting being where it is, but whatever cash is raised would be used appropriately to recognise the place the painting has in Kent’s history."
Club chairman Carl Openshaw understands some club members may question the proposed sale, but believes the painting no longer benefits the club.
He said: "Many loyal Kent members will already have a copy of this painting on their walls at home and we have thought long and hard about selling it. But I can assure members that it won’t be sold unless we achieve an appropriate sum.
"I don’t want to pre-judge, but whatever amount is achieved will be used for the long-term interests of the club. It is an important and valuable painting and is likely to attract considerable interest amongst collectors.
"One possibility is that the MCC would want to acquire it in order to retain the painting within their collection at Lord’s."
Copyright of the image is handled by London-based firm Felix Rosentiel’s Widow & Son, who have approved five reprints of the painting for greetings cards in the last four years alone.
Licensing manager Francis Blake said: "It is certainly right up there as one of the most famous cricket paintings we handle."