Provenance with a story
By William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young and Mawer.
It was a long journey to the saleroom of some 500 miles and more than nine years’ wait, for a portrait of Sir Patrick Blake from Langham Hall near Sudbury, by or after Sir Joshua Reynolds, to sell at the May fine art auction for £6,000.
For over 50 years it was hidden in The Great House, Kegworth and was removed to the Lincoln Auction Rooms in a very dirty state. It then went to Rutland for the lightest clean by a Courtauld Institute trained conservator, Juliet Hawker, to enable more investigations to be made. The painting finally found a new home in East Anglia, close to where it very well may have first been.
Other notable results in the sale included a copy of a Sir John Everett Millais picture titled Autumn Leaves selling for £1,100. The original painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1856 and now forms part of the collection of The Manchester City Art Gallery.
Continuing with the Manchester connection, an artist signed coloured print by LS Lowry titled Britain at Play sold for £3,600. The original of this painting is housed at The Usher Gallery in Lincoln.
A charming 19th-century school portrait of a girl wearing a hat and shawl told its own story and tripled the pre-auction estimate when the hammer fell at £700.
Finally a small collection of works by the Australian born artist Hewitt Henry Rayner (1902-1957) was sold in 19 lots with a top price of £130 being paid for an oil on canvas titled Rooftops, Gospel Oak. According to Roger Staton’s recently published book on the artist, Rayner arrived from Australia at the age of 21 and studied at the Royal Academy of Art as a student of Walter Sickert.
The pictures in the Lincoln auction were from a larger collection reputedly discovered some years ago in a goat shed somewhere in Lincolnshire.
Full details can be found at www.goldingyoung.com