This portrait of a woman thought to be Therese Freifrau von Bethmann was the top lot at Bearnes Hampton & Littlewood’s recent two-day sale or fine art in Exeter where it took a hammer price of £155,000.

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The picture was painted by German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73), who completed many portraits of royalty. It shows a woman, thought to be Therese Freifrau von Bethmann, who wears diamonds, a white dress and a coronet of flowers.

The vendor’s family had received the picture as a gift in 1960. During the two-day sale of fine art at the auction house starting on April 11, the lot drew competitive phone bidding before eventually surpassed expectations and taking £155,000. 

The oil on canvas painting measures 4ft 3in (1.3m) tall and was offered with a fine contemporary wood, plaster and gilded frame.

The auction also resulted in a record for the artist James Dickson Innes when his oil on board painting The Fairy Mountain took a hammer total of £41,000.