Cottingley Fairies Photos from An Early 20th Century Viral Hoax Hit the Auction Block

Frances Griffiths photograph of her cousin Elsie Wright in 1920.
Frances Griffiths photograph of her cousin Elsie Wright in 1920.
(Photograph: Marc Tielemans/Dominic Winter Auctioneers/PA)

"Photographs of what is considered to be one of the great hoaxes of the 20th century are expected to fetch nearly £70,000 when they are sold at auction," reports The Guardian. "Pictures of the Cottingley Fairies were taken in July and September 1917 by the 16-year-old Elsie Wright and her nine-year-old cousin Frances Griffiths, in the village of Cottingley, near Bingley in West Yorkshire."

The cousins maintained the images were real, although they had been staged with colored cut-outs of fairies in a garden, until 1983. 

Frances’s daughter is selling the vintage images some 100 years after they were made.

The photographs are offered at Dominic Winter Auctioneers in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, UK, on April 11.

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