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This 1806 oil by John E Ferneley sold for £7500 at John Nicholson's auction.

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The 2ft 9in x 3ft 6in (84cm x 1.06m) study of a gentleman in a black top hat, holding a gun, with his horse and spaniels, had come from a deceased local estate.

Dated 1806, the picture was described by the auction house as a “wonderful early example” and is one of only a clutch to have appeared at auction dated before Ferneley’s formative trip to Ireland in 1808.

Bids on the internet and via three private phones pushed the price beyond the £4000-6000 guide to £7500.