Carpets for Sale.

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The collection netted £26,000 in total, with the highest bid being the £7900 for the unsigned Carpets for Sale, seen right. The 22 x 16in (56 x 41cm) picture was one of only two oils on canvas in the collection, the others being watercolours, sketchbooks and prints. This meant that it must have dated from before 1884, after which Robertson worked exclusively in watercolours.

The street scene, however, was damaged and unfinished, with the rugs in particular not being completed. It had clearly been cut out of a frame and had cracks.

It was bought by a locally-based dealer, underbid by a London gallery.

The gallery, though, did manage to secure another unsigned picture, the 5 1/2 x 12in (14 x 31cm) watercolour Arms Bazaar, at £3300.

Robertson is known to have travelled widely in Turkey, Tangiers, the Holy Land, Spain and Italy, but these pictures, often inspired by Cairene and Alexandrian scenes, demonstrated that he must have spent more time in Egypt than was hitherto thought.

His large Godalming studio was filled with furniture, screens, pottery and china which he used for his pictures and the Potbury's sale also included a carpet Robertson brought back from North Africa which featured in a number of his paintings, including The Bazaar khan el-khalulu, Cairo which sold at Sotheby's in 1980. The carpet was dated c.1850 and, despite some damage caused by damp, it made £1650.