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Artwork produced by the Kray twins to go up for auction at Fakenham Racecourse

10:31 22 May 2012

Kray twins Ronnie (left) and Reggie, Britain

Kray twins Ronnie (left) and Reggie, Britain's most notorious gangsters

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More than 40 paintings and drawings by the notorious Kray twins are to go on auction at Fakenham Racecourse.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray were at the forefront of organised crime in London’s East End in the 1950s and 1960s and were given life sentences for murder in 1969.

Ronnie died of a heart attack in Broadmoor Hospital, Crowthorne, in 1995, aged 61, while Reggie died, aged 66, from cancer at the Town House Hotel in Norwich in 2000.

Artwork produced by the pair while they were in prison will be up for sale at an auction at Fakenham Racecourse on July 11.

David James, from Fakenham auctioneers James and Sons, said the artwork is in a variety of mediums including chalk on paper, watercolour, oil on paper, on board and on canvas, charcoal, pastel and pencil.

The subject matter covers a wide range including nudes, portraits, landscapes, seascapes, animals and still-lifes.

The majority of the work is by Reggie, 37 items, with five by Ronnie.

Mr James said: “Some of the works are clearly copies of originals by renowned artists, presumably from text books available in the prison libraries.

“While the work can best be described as naive it cannot be written off as pure amateurism – there is evidence of some talent.”

Also at the auction there will be an album of photographs and Reggie’s letters to ‘Clive’, a fellow inmate who appears to have been Kray’s ‘gopher’ at HMP Wayland and who kept in touch with him after his own release.

A pair of boxing gloves which belonged to Charles Bronson, often referred to as “Britain’s most violent prisoner”, are also in the collection. These bear Bronson’s name and are the subject of one of Reggie’s letters to ‘Clive’, in which he describes how meeting Bronson was “the most frightening visit I had” when the two, accompanied by 20 prison officers, exchanged the gloves at HMP Parkhurst.

There is also one drawing by Ronald “Buster” Edwards, one of the thieves involved in the “Great Train Robbery” of 1963, up for sale.

The auction will be the first to be held by James and Sons at fakenham Racecourse.

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