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Top lot in Bonhams 19th century sale makes over double the pre-sale estimate
Albert Chevallier Tayler's The council of three sells for £118,850. Photo: Bonhams.


LONDON.- ‘The Council of Three’ an intimate painting of 19th Century life by Albert Chevallier Tayler RBC made £118,850, more than double the pre-sale estimate, at Bonhams 19th Century Paintings, Drawings & Watercolours sale, yesterday 23rd January. The painting was among several lots that exceeded their estimates, in a sale which realised over £1.3 million.

In a busy saleroom bidders competed for the top lots in the sale with ‘The Council of Three’ finally going to a private UK buyer via a telephone bid. The painting is an important rediscovery, having been in private hands since the 1930s. It is an atmospheric scene showing three women chatting and is a spectacular example of Tayler’s early use of a square-brush technique. ‘The Council of Three’ epitomises the naturalistic ambitions of the Newlyn School.

Archibald Thorburn’s striking paintings of game birds were also highly sought-after with a detailed watercolour of a ‘Cock and hen pheasant in a woodland clearing’ from 1928 making £63,650 against a pre-sale estimate of £30,000 – 50,000. Never before seen on the auction market, the painting evokes the splendour of the shooting season and shows the magnificence of the bird’s plumage.

Among the other highlights of the sale were Walter Frederick Osborne’s ‘Milking Time in St Marnock's Byre’, which made £48,850 and ‘A morning ride’ by Heywood Hardy, which far exceeded its estimate, selling for £44,450 against a pre-sale estimate of £12,000 – 18,000.

Charles O’Brien, Director of 19th Century Pictures said, “The sale was a great success with some of the top lots far exceeding their pre-sale estimates. ‘The Council of Three’ is a superb snapshot of daily life in during the 19th Century that provides a great insight into how people lived at that time. There was a great deal of competition to secure the work, which I hope will give much pleasure to the new owner. The overall success of the sale, with 70% of lots sold, demonstrates the continuing strength of the 19th Century Paintings market, despite these uncertain times.”






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