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Sitting Pretty: Georgian portrait expected to turn heads in picture auction

2nd January 2024

An interesting selection of pictures from numerous local vendors will offer variety at all price levels in Lawrences’ forthcoming picture auction on Wednesday January 17th

A curious picture depicting a kitchen still life with a cat and – very unusually – a sturgeon is by an artist working in the circle of George Smith of Chichester (1714-1776) and is estimated at £2000-3000. A serene and skilfully atmospheric scene of `The Banks of Loch Lomond`, 60 by 90cm, is by the distinctive and accomplished Victorian artist Alfred de Breanski and this is guided at £5000-7000.

A group of 33 pictures from a private collection in Dorset comprises a view of St Mark’s Square in Venice in the style of Canaletto, 60 by 94cm, at £2000-3000; and also works by Hercules Brabazon Brabazon, Edward Lear and modern works including a Paul Maitland of `Shop Window on Hollywood Road`, 24 by 21cm, at £1000-1500.

A distinctive and boldly drawn watercolour of a horse by Dorset-based artist Dame Elisabeth Frink was a 50th birthday gift to a friend in 1991 and it has since passed by descent. This is expected to make £2000-3000 [lot 431]. From the same vendor, a Michael Ayrton self portrait at his easel, painted in the late 1940s, is unusual for being painted in oil on aluminium. Ayrton experimented with this ground in order to emulate the smooth finish and lustrous colour achieved by his Italian Renaissance idols. The estimate is £2000-3000.

Ten works on paper by Karl Weschke (1925-2005), a German-born artist with links to the St Ives school of artists, offer Expressionist ideas and strong draughtsmanship. They have been consigned for sale by the artist’s family and are appearing at auction for the first time.

“We anticipate that a stylish portrait of George Purling, attributed to George Romney (1734-1802), offered by sale by the sitter’s descendant, will attract very keen interest,” observes the firm’s specialist, Richard Kay . “The young gentleman, depicted with as much elegant refinement in his clothing as in his expression, is sure to catch bidders’ eyes at £7000-10000. There are 180 lots in the picture section. Works in all media from the 16th Century to the present day, with estimates from £100 to £10000, should ensure that we can offer something for every collector."

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