Did you buy these priceless paintings stolen by this antiques thief?

·2-min read
Martin Bateman (left) and paintings by Bernard Dunstan (top) and Pierre Adolphe Valette (inset, right) Pictures: TVP
Martin Bateman (left) and paintings by Bernard Dunstan (top) and Pierre Adolphe Valette (inset, right) Pictures: TVP

Detectives hope that the new owners of these two paintings - stolen by a crooked removals man and sold at auction - will see it in their heart to return them to their original owners.

Martin Bateman, 54, was jailed for two years at Oxford Crown Court earlier this week for taking priceless heirlooms and antiques from 11 customers of his former employers, removals firm Luker Brothers.

You can read the full story from his sentencing hearing here.

Now, Thames Valley Police has released photographs of two paintings taken by Bateman that were not sold by the auction house, Jacob and Jones, through which he sold most of his stolen booty.

READ MORE: How a removals man made off with antiques, paintings and heirlooms

Detectives hope the new owners of the paintings will come forward.

Det Con Charlotte Oliver of Oxford CID said: “All of the items that were stolen were of great sentimental value to the victims and the suspect made a commodity of their memories and traded them on without any thought.

“We know of at least two other paintings that were stolen by Bateman but were not sold through the same auction house and have not been recovered.

“If you bought these paintings or recognise them, please get in touch by calling 101 or make a report online, quoting reference number 43190386582.”

READ MORE: Face of removals man who stole antiques

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

Pierre Adolphe Valette​'s Study for Oxford Road Picture: TVP

One of the two images shows a painting by French impressionist Pierre Adolphe Valette, called ‘Study for Oxford Road’.

The painter made a tour of England in the early 20th century and a larger painting, of Manchester’s Oxford Road and completed in 1910, hangs in the city art gallery. The former owner of the Valette study said the work, which was stolen by Bateman in 2019, had featured in exhibitions of the Frenchman’s work at Manchester City Gallery.

Oxford Mail:
Oxford Mail:

Bernard Dunstan, 'Morning Paper

Another image released by the police showed Bernard Dunstan’s ‘Morning Paper’, showing a nude woman lying on a bed reading a newspaper.

Dunstan was a British impressionist painter, elected to the British Academy and later president of the Royal West of England Academy. He died in 2017.

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