Drawing of The Thames by John Constable
‘The Thames from Windsor Castle’, a pencil drawing by John Constable offered at Mallams with an estimate of £12,000-15,000.

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The Thames from Windsor Castle, a sketch on watermarked paper from 1801 relates closely to a version of the same scene held by the Museum of Art, Rhode Island School of Design.

The last time it appeared at auction was at Sotheby’s in July 1949 where it was purchased by Bond Street dealer Agnews. Three years later it was sold to a relative of the vendor who, having inherited the sketch, has kept it hanging on the walls of his Oxfordshire home for some years.

Labels on back of John Constable drawing

The labels for Thomas Agnew & Sons and the Arts Council exhibition that appear to the reverse of the John Constable offered at Mallams.

Not long before its appearance at Sotheby’s, the 9 x 13.5in (23 x 34cm) pencil drawing had featured as part of the Aldeburgh Festival Exhibition in 1948 (where it was titled The Thames at Oxford). It then appeared the following year at an Arts Council exhibition titled Sketches and Drawings by Constable belonging to Dr. H.A.C. Gregory.

The consignment to Mallams follows the sale of another Constable drawing at the Oxford auction house in 2015. The pencil drawing of the back and shoulders of the artist’s wife Maria Constable (nee Bicknell) came from a different vendor but also had provenance to the Gregory collection. It sold at £13,000.