The dangers of re-gifting unwanted presents became the subject du jour at the NSW corruption inquiry.
Leading up to the 2011 state election, local vet and Liberal candidate Andrew Cornwell drove around Charlestown dispensing gifts to supporters.
ICAC: Andrew Cornwell admits taking bribe
Former Liberal MP tells a corruption inquiry he took bribe money from developers. Michaela Whitbourn reports from the Independent Commission Against Corruption in Sydney.
One of the unloved items in the boot was a Rex Newell painting that Mr Cornwell's parents had given to his wife Samantha Brookes for her birthday.
''Ah, it was, ah, like a farmhouse type scene, not the sort of thing we would have hung at home,'' Mr Cornwell told the Independent Commission Against Corruption on Thursday.
But the recipient of the gift - property developer Hilton Grugeon - insisted on paying for the artwork and he wrote out a cheque for $10,120 to Mr Cornwell's wife.
Mr Cornwell told the inquiry his father Brien said Rex Newell paintings could sell for anywhere between $1000 and $40,000.
But according to the Australian Art Sales Digest database, the best price ever achieved for a Newell work is a modest $1400 ($1540 including the buyer's premium). Indeed, the average price for a Newell is a very modest $288.
The highest price for a Newell was paid at auction in 1997 for an oil on board work titled Wool Wagons. Another, Late for the Bush Races, achieved the same price in 1998.
A low point for the artist was his work The Farm, which fetched a meagre $23 when it went under the hammer in 2007.
Mr Cornwell agreed that accepting the money was tantamount to a bribe and that he should never have taken it.
Mr Cornwell's father, who was struck off as a solicitor in 2006, suggested to his son that the payment was above board.
The money was used by Mr Cornwell, who was a vet, to pay his annual tax bill. ''How did it come about that Mr Grugeon got the painting rather than a leg of ham?'' asked counsel assisting. Geoffrey Watson, SC.
''It was just, it was dumb luck to be honest, he was the last person I visited,'' said Mr Cornwell.