The BBC’s Antiques Roadshow has unveiled an exciting ‘find’ with a Westcountry provenance.
Plymouth University graduate Lawrence Hendra has become the programme’s youngest ever expert, at the age of just 23.
The Cornwall-raised art history graduate has been pursuing his passion for antique works of art since buying a piece from a flea market and then selling it for a profit, when he was 13 years old.
Now, a decade later, he has joined the ranks of experts on the long-running show which is watched by millions of viewers every week.
The opportunity arose through Lawrence’s work as associate director at Philip Mould & Company in London, and he made his first televised appearance earlier this month.
Lawrence, who grew up and went to school in Truro before going on to study at Plymouth University, said: “The Antiques Roadshow has always been at the top of my bucket list.
“It was very daunting and, with everyone else being older and more experienced, I certainly felt the need to prove myself.
“Thankfully, a few discoveries later I feel very much part of the gang.”
Philip Mould & Company, who are based in Mayfair, specialise in British and Old Master paintings and, in particular, works of art previously considered to be lost.
It is an area Lawrence became interested in during his time at Plymouth University, when his course also led to him spending time studying original works in the Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.
He said: “Studying in Plymouth opened my eyes to a wide range of subject areas and, on a daily basis, I find myself using knowledge learnt from Plymouth to make informed judgements and decisions.
“There was one occasion when I discovered a previously lost work by Sir Joshua Reynolds miscatalogued by a leading auction house.”
For his first Antiques Roadshow appearance, Lawrence analysed two artworks by contemporary artist Stephen Wiltshire, which he went on to value at £20,000.
Dr Jenny Graham, associate professor in art history at Plymouth University, said: “We’re so delighted for Lawrence.
“His story sets a great example for current and future students to follow.”