A COLLECTOR of bronze sculptures is appealing for people to help unveil the mystery to a piece that he has acquire.

Mike Saul acquired a bronze bust of a middle-aged lady signed 'Epstein' which he believes was a piece made by pioneer modern sculpture Sir Jacob Epstein.

As an avid collector Mr Saul has become accustom to Epstein’s work and has discovered that about 10 pieces of his work are officially 'not recorded' and he believes this bust is one of them.

He told the Gazette: “After doing some research I found that this piece matches the style and the time period of his [Epstein’s] work.”

After digging deeper in the history of the artwork, Mr Saul discovered that it he believe it is the bust of Marie Frances Pritt (1895-1996) known as Mollie, wife of politician and barrister D N Pritt (1887-1972 Dennis Nowell), who previously lived at Barn End, Pamber Heath.

It is believed that Mr and Mrs Pritt were heavily involved in promoting various groups related to Russian and Chinese interests.

Mrs Pritt was awarded the Labour Valour Medal by the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR in July 1945.

She was also vice-chairman of the joint committee for Soviet Aid.

Mr Saul said that any further details or pictures of Mrs Pritt will help him establish if the bust is of her and will mark the piece as an Epstein if it goes to auction.

He said: “There may be people in the area that have heard stories of them, or somehow acquired photos of her.

“By getting more information on her, it helps to value the piece.

He added: “I consider myself a bit of a collector so I like to think I have an eye for these things, and as much detail as you can get about a piece really gives an understanding to the artists and the piece.”

If anyone can help Mr Saul or has a picture of Mrs Pritt they should contact hi via email VIVERSMILL@TALK21.COM