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The signed 13 3/4in x 17 3/4in (35 x 45cm) canvas was part of the estate of the venerable Derby dealer Margaret Ward, who died in 2003, aged 93.

The late Miss Ward had been a firm believer in giving paintings a thorough clean, and this painting was not in the sort of untouched condition that today's picture buyers normally require. However, a painting of a quartet of terrier puppies was deemed, by at least two dealers, a commercial opportunity too good to miss and it was knocked down at a quadruple-estimate £14,000.

This is the sort of price that a well-preserved Wardle of this subject and size might have been expected to fetch.

The same sum was also bid by the trade for the similarly sized, and similarly 'restored', Wardle of a West Highland bitch and her two puppies, entitled The Empty Plate.