Jinty purchased the piece directly from Blake's studio whilst they were students at London's Royal College of Art. She paid Blake £3 ($4.50) each Saturday, which she would give to him at his local pub.

In an interview with the Telegraph, Stephenson said: "I went to his studio with a friend, saw this painting and thought I have to get it. But £30 was probably what I was earning in a week as a junior designer back then."

"It's given me enormous pleasure over the years, and has always had pride of place wherever I've lived."

In a wonderful detail to the tale, Blake told Jinty £30 "kept him in food for the week.''

The sale also features sculptures by Dame Barbara Hepworth and Lowry's Going to Work, estimated at £1 million.