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Auction time for Constable watercolour found in Dorchester
A RARE painting by renowned artist John Constable is up for sale after being discovered in Dorchester.
The nine inch watercolour depicting several tall ships on the water was spotted by experts at Duke’s Auctioneers hidden between a collection of low value 19th century prints and watercolours in an old brown folio.
Duke’s have confirmed the watercolour is from a series of 140 works drawn and painted by Constable during 1803.
Valuer at Duke’s, Amy Brenan, said: “I discovered it while searching through the folio after a client brought in the collection; it was such an exciting and interesting find.
“The client didn’t believe the description on the mount of the painting but it was later authenticated as a Constable painting.
“In 1803, Constable spent several months on the East Indiaman ‘The Coutts’, accompanying his friend and the ship’s captain Robert Torin, on a tour around the Medway and Thames before the ship set sail for China.
“He produced many watercolour and pencil studies of the landscape and shipping scenes he encountered.”
The painting is expected to sell for more than £5,000 when up for auction at Duke’s on September 26.
Experts at Duke’s were also able to identify a black collectors stamp on the back of the watercolour from The Ingram Collection. Sir Bruce Ingram was a notable connoisseur of old master watercolours, in particular maritime subjects.
The folios were inherited by the current owner from a relative, Philip Coates, youngest son of Henry Coates, founder of Coates Brothers Printing Inks in London.
It is believed Mr Coates purchased the watercolour directly from Sothebys Institute of Art in 1965, where it has remained in his collection.
Amy added: “Philip was an astute collector and built a record of each work he acquired, including the title, artist, medium and any provenance of the work known.
“It’s his records that have enabled us to trace this Constable painting.”
The painting is one of 55 lots forming The Philip Coates Collection which also includes five original Rembrandt etchings.
The entire collection is expected to sell at auction for over £25,000.
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