The diminutive 3 3/4 x 4in (9.5cm x 10) watercolour and bodycolour by John Ruskin made £20,000 at Duke’s of Dorchester on April 10-11.

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The signed work, from a deceased Dorset estate, was offered with an estimate of £500-1000 and attracted bidding from London dealers The Maas Gallery and also The Fine Art Society who were the underbidders.

It was finally knocked down to a private collector at £20,000 (plus 19.5% premium). In all, the 330 picture lots at the Duke's sale generated a total of £600,000. The top lot was a small watercolour by Picasso (1881-1973).

Measuring 4 3/4 x 7 1/2in (12 x 19cm) and entitled Etreinte, it was executed in 1901 or 1902 and depicted the artist in an intimate embrace with his lover Odette.

It was one of a series of watercolours produced during Picasso's third visit to Paris from Spain. Louise Lenoir, otherwise known as Odette, is thought to have been Picasso's first girlfriend in Paris and she features prominently in this series.

This watercolour and brush with ink on paper also had an inscription in Picasso's hand on the reverse relating to the artist's authentication of the work in 1969. Offered with a £50,000-100,000 estimate (it had sold at Sotheby's in 2003 for £60,000) it went at £68,000 to a private buyer who purchased it as a present to her husband.

The sale also offered a George Stubbs (1724-1806) equestrian portrait from 1786, which, heavily compromised by condition problems, went below estimate at £45,000, and The Irish Grey Mare by Alfred Munnings (1878-1959) that also sold below-estimate at £55,000 to a private buyer.

An expressionist painting dating from Jules Pascin's (1885-1930) travels to Cuba, however, did manage to sell within estimate. Jeunes Noirs a Cuba was bought by a trade buyer at £32,000.