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One, a 21 x 17in (53 x 43cm) canvas of a young girl holding a basket of jasmine blossom, attracted £18,000 against an estimate of £7000-10,000, while the slightly smaller and less obviously attractive 14 x 12in (36 x 30cm) canvas, right, of an older Victorian beauty holding a sprig of orange blossom rated £7000 (estimate £4000-6000). Both were bought by the same Cotswolds dealer.

A rather racier specialist in female figure subjects was William Russell Flint (1880-1969), whose signed early 1960s oil, Carmelito’s Pink Comb, was featured on the front cover of the catalogue of The Bristol Auction Rooms’ (11.5% buyer’s premium) June 17 sale.

Entered by a local lady of title, this signed 231/2in x 191/2in (60 x 49cm) oil on canvas, right, bearing a Fine Art Society label dated 1962, featured a head-and-shoulders study of an elaborately headdressed flamenco dancer clutching a pair of

The fact that the painting showed a Spanish beauty fully clothed proved to be a commercial minus for Flint aficionados, and others found the handling of the subject lacking vibrancy.

As a result the painting, again in untouched condition, sold on the telephone to a solid, but hardly spectacular upper-estimate bid of £7000.

When it comes to Russell Flint, the sultrier the better seems to be the general commercial rule.