Jade pony

Among the items still missing from the collection of the late Fay Marx is this 10½in (27cm) important Ming grey jade group of two recumbent Mongolian ponies. Please note the available image does not accurately portray the colour of this jade.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Gary Pickersgill, 43, who is serving an eight-year sentence, will face another 30 months if the money is not paid within six months. Many of the items were sold at auction.

Luton Crown Court heard Gary Pickersgill, of Saxby Avenue, Skegness benefited by £1.9m from the thefts but the £208,335 owed is the only money available from his current assets.

Gary Pickersgill and his father Des, 84, of Clyde Crescent, Bedford, were found guilty of the theft of jade and ivory carvings from the home of the late Fay Marx over a sixyear period.

The pair, along with Kevin Wigmore, 47, of Skegness, were convicted of fraud by making false representations to Bonhams that they had authority to sell the items.

Extra jail time

At an earlier hearing Sarah Pickersgill (Gary’s wife) was ordered to pay £185,000 in compensation to the estate of the victim or face two years in jail.

Kevin Wigmore’s benefit was found to be £88,279. His available assets were £15,544. He had three months to pay from March or face 10 months in prison.

Tracey Wigmore’s benefit was £7590. That was also the available amount. She was given 28 days to pay or face four months in prison on default.

During the trial the jury heard Des Pickersgill had once been the gardener for Fay Marx, who died last year. During visits to her country cottage, he and Gary Pickersgi l l had helped themselves to antiques that were kept in display cabinets.

The crime first came to light following a reported burglary at the victim’s address in September 2017.

When fine art valuer Mary Griffith-Thompson of The Antiques At taché was employed by the insurance company Aviva, she discovered that jade items featuring in the family’s photograph album had been sold at auction.

Following an investigation into the theft by Bedfordshire Police’s Serious Fraud Investigation Unit, it was established that between 2011 and 2017 more than 40 jades were stolen.

However, there are still 20 other pieces known to be missing from the collection and, as yet, unaccounted for (as reported in ATG issue 2521)

The jades had been collected by Marx’s first husband Robin Marx and possibly by his father Hermann Marx, a renowned bibliophile whose collection of books, manuscripts and prints was sold by Sotheby’s in 1948.