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The latter came in the form of a 21in x 2ft 8in (53 x 81cm) signed mixed media picture by the popular mining artist Norman Cornish (1919-2014).

The 1950 work of men drinking in a pub in his hometown of Spennymoor is a trademark subject for the County Durham artist. The presence of a whippet watching its master playing darts amid the busy scene added to the appeal.

Consigned from a local private collector and with previous provenance to the University of Northumbria, it bettered its £12,000-15,000 estimate to sell just shy of the artist’s record at £16,000 to a local private buyer.

The record remains the £16,500 bid for the larger oil on board A street scene in Spennymoor, which sold at Newcastle saleroom Anderson & Garland back in March 2010.

Wheelwright bathing scene

In contrast was a sunny bathing scene attributed to Rowland Wheelwright (1870-1955), the Australia-born artist and book illustrator who settled in Bushey, near Watford.

The indistinctly signed 21 x 15in (54.5 x 39cm) oil on canvas may have been painted on Sark, the tiny island in Guernsey where Wheelwright produced some of his most popular pictures, often bringing models over from the mainland to pose for him.

Indeed, a similar oil depicting a trio of girls, one wearing an identical bathing suit, sold at Bonhams in Bath in 2006 at £6800.

Tennants’ slightly smaller example easily surpassed its conservative £600-800 guide to sell for £8000 – a good price for a Wheelwright bathing scene and one of the higher sums achieved over the last decade.