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While one’s first impression of such a wide-ranging, large-scale collection may be that it lacks focus, Forbes had an absolute passion for his subject and his purchasing policy was well defined. To begin with Forbes always concentrated very much on pictures that had either been shown at the Royal Academy during Victoria’s reign, or that were studies or versions of those exhibits, although his collecting criteria later became more flexible to encompass earlier and later masters as well as artists who set out to challenge Academic conventions.

Some of the sale’s potential big hitters include J.W. Waterhouse’s 1887 Marianne, estimated at £1m-£1.5m; estimated at £800,000-1.2m are both John Martin’s 1841 Pandemonium in its original frame, and W.H. Deverell’s Twelfth Night.

As well as the large number of works bearing recognised names, many high quality works by lesser known artists will be offered. There are several entries from members of the Hayllar family, such as the one illustrated above, entitled Summer Shower, by Edith Hayllar, estimated at £150,000-200,000, or the appropriately titled Coming Event, by Edith’s sister Jessica, estimated at £100,000-150,000.