A typical example of the surreal and dreamlike landscapes for which the artist is best known, Stone Circle, Abor Low, Derbyshire was bought by a London private collector for £15,500.
The 20in x 2ft (50 x 61cm) tempera painting carried a cautious estimate of £4000-5000, partly because of a false Paul Nash signature and the removal of Allen’s own signature from the lower-right corner.
The Peak District, where this was painted, was the artist’s favoured spot, being so close to Sheffield where he was born and lived. Alongside painting many of its stone circles, Allen depicted ‘Well Dressing’ scenes, a unique art form to the area believed to have been introduced by the Romans or the Celts.
The artist’s record price, according to online price database Art Sales Index, is the £22,000 paid in November 2004 at Sotheby’s London for the Derbyshire landscape, Road Mending.
Elsewhere in the sale, a high price was achieved for a work by Canadian painter Mary Bell Eastlake (1864-1951). The 20in x 2ft (50 x 61cm) oil on canvas, depicting two children fishing by a river in the sun, was knocked down at £9000 against a £1500-2000 estimate.
The scene depicts a location in St Ives in Cornwall, according to a label on the verso, and was bought for £21 from the Royal Academy in London where it was exhibited in 1896. Although Eastlake was a prolific exhibitor in both Canada, the US and at the Royal Academy, her work rarely appears at auction.
Noted for her portraits of children, Bell moved to England in 1890. She settled in St Ives where she married the artist Charles Eastlake. They travelled extensively in Europe and Asia before returning to Canada in 1939.