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This 19th century oil of a popular Venetian view topped Mitchells’ June 1 auction in Cockermouth, Cumbria, selling for £8400.

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The 17in x 2ft 7in (44 x 79cm) oil on canvas depicts a sunlit canal scene, dotted with boats and gondolas, with the domes of the Punta della Dogana, Venice’s old customs building, rising up from the haze beyond. Despite one area where a strip of paint had been lost, the canvas had survived in good condition with no signs of restoration work.

It also bore an indistinct signature to the bottom left, which the auction house could not decipher. Estimated at £300-500, it drew plenty of bidding and went on to sell to a local private buyer on the phone at £8400.