Offered as an original 1918 oil on canvas by Paul Nash, this picture titled 'A Scarred Battlefield' brought a house record £190,000 at Wright Marshall in Knutsford in September 2015.
However, the sale has now been rescinded after scientific analysis raised concerns relating to the use of white pigment in the painting.
Previously unrecorded and not listed in the Nash catalogue raisonné by Andrew Causey, it came from the same source that provided the saleroom with two aerial scenes by CRW Nevinson – one that made £20,000 in January 2015 and another that fetched £42,000 in 2013. It was believed to have been acquired by the vendor’s late grandfather who died in 1982.
There is an inscription on the back of the stretcher To my darling Bunty – an apparent reference to Nash’s wife Margaret ‘Bunty’ Odeh.
Nick Hall, head of furniture and fine art at Wright Marshall, told ATG: “The issue of the pigment caused enough questions for both parties to walk away from the sale.”
He added that the date of the painting was “never proved categorically one way or the other”.