Work attributed to Andy Warhol, aged 11, to go on show in UK
Man from Devon claims pop artist drew sketch of band leader he bought at garage sale in Las Vegas for£3
The buyer is convinced the picture he bought two years ago is the earliest known example of Warhol's pop art. Photograph: Royal West of England Academy
A portrait attributed to an 11-year-old Andy Warhol and bought by a British businessman for £3 in a garage sale is going on show for the first time.
The sketch of the singer and band leader Rudy Vallée was found by Andy Fields, from Tiverton in Devon, at a sale in Las Vegas when he bought a number of works by the author Gertrude Stein. It was only when he came to get one of them framed that he found the sketch he believes was done by Warhol and could be worth more than £1m.
Fields, who bought the picture two years ago, is convinced the sketch was the earliest known example of Warhol's pop art. "It still gives me the shivers," he said.
The picture will be shown at the Royal West of England Academy (RWA) in Bristol as part of Avon and Somerset police's Clean Slate art competition exhibition, which encourages young people to create art.
The director of the RWA, Trystan Hawkins, said: "Warhol's work is known the world over, and represents a seismic shift in the history of art. With the benefit of hindsight, viewing this portrait allows us to see the beginnings of one of the greatest art movements.
"The opportunity to show Warhol's earliest work at the RWA is a world first, and we thank Andy Fields for giving us this chance to make it possible for the public to come and see a Warhol in Bristol."
The Avon and Somerset chief constable, Colin Port, said: "I am delighted that the Rudy Vallée portrait will make its public debut within our Clean Slate exhibition."
There have been some doubts about the authenticity of the picture but the backing of a gallery – and a police force – is a boost to Fields's case that the work is a genuine Warhol.
The Clean Slate exhibition runs at the RWA in the Stancomb-Wills Gallery from 3 July until 28 July.