Rick Cosby of dealership Maritime Originals found the 2ft 6in (75cm) wide picture a year after acquiring a pencil drawing of the same scene. His search for the finished scene ensued.
Cosby finally acquired the painting along with eight other Wyllie watercolours of First World War scenes originally purchased by Admiral of the Fleet Lord Louis Mountbatten (1854-1922). Like the drawing, the painting shows traces of ‘scaling up lines’ down and across the margins.
It went to one of Cosby’s existing clients who had viewed it online with little interest, but was impressed by the work when seeing it in person.
Filling a gap
Maritime Originals was one of 32 exhibitors at Connect, held in London’s Mall Galleries from January 29-February 2. Run by a co-operative of art dealers, it aimed to fill the gap left by the recent closure of other mid-level fairs.
Fellow exhibitor Elizabeth Harvey-Lee said that it was “the best-organised fair in terms of getting in and out, probably because it was organised by dealers who knew how to get it done”.
She added that her stock sold across the board, from Old Master prints to contemporary works. “Everybody who visited was extremely positive. The venue and the central location were very good,” said Harvey-Lee.
Dealer James Manning, who initiated the fair, made another of the highlight sales with Julian Trevelyan’s Strawberry Hill for £13,700 (See ATG No 2378).
Oriel Fine Art, Freya Mitton, Panter & Hall and Blondes Fine Art were among the other exhibitors.