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In terms of sheer crowd control, the signed and dated 1888 oil, right, that came up for sale at the Stansted Mountfichet rooms of Sworders (15% buyer’s premium) on September 20 must be ranked among J.C. Greive’s most ambitious works. Measuring 2ft 2in by 3ft 1in (66 x 94cm) and featuring over 200 individually observed figures, the painting showed crowds milling round an upturned carriage near The Royal Palace, Amsterdam with a fire engine rushing to the scene in the background.

The painting, estimated at £20,000-30,000, was privately entered and in untouched condition.
While one or two thought that any accident, however minor, was a less-than-appealing subject in the
current environment, a trade bidder, widely thought to be Richard Green, was prepared to give £24,000 for the painting, a price which these Essex auctioneers believe to be a record
for the artist.