The 8½ x 13in (22 x 33.5cm) pen, ink and wash study features a frieze of figures in classical costume with a kneeling man presenting a bouquet of flowers to a young woman. Equally significant is the artist’s inscription along the bottom reading Madame agréez que je vous présente une charge pour remplacer le bouquet de Votre faite chérie du 10. et février 1806. à Edeby.
The auction house suggests that this inscription implies the drawing was given as a thank-you present to a lady for the party she held at Edeby on February 10, 1806.
Judging by extant correspondence from Sergel sold at auction in 2011, the artist visited his friend Birger Fredrik Rothoff at Ekilstuna near Stockholm during these dates. Ebedy is a district of Ekilstuna where Rothoff probably had a house. The kneeling figure is thought to represent Sergel and the female recipient, Rothoff’s wife Magdelena.
The drawing was estimated at €8000-12,000 but there was enough interest on the day to take the bidding to €45,000 (£38,460), paid by a Swedish collector.