The first included in the Fine Art, Antiques & Textiles sale on October 22 was Wives and Flowers, a fresh-to-market oil by the self-taught artist Mary Newcomb (1922-2008), known best for her dream-like pastoral scenes of the Norfolk countryside.
The 2ft 6in x 2ft 7in (75 x 78cm) oil on board, dated 1961 and inscribed verso with the price of 20gns, was obtained directly from the artist as part-payment for architectural alterations to the Newcomb family home at Mill Farm in Neatham, Norfolk, which was carried out by a local firm owned by Sheila and Michael Gooch in 1961. Passed by descent to the vendor, it was knocked down at £8000 against a £7000-10,000 estimate.
De Morgan study
The second work was an undated pencil study of the head of a young woman by Evelyn De Morgan (1855-1919), which was pursued to £4200 against a £400-600 estimate.
The 7½ x 7in (19 x 17.5cm) picture had passed by descent from the collection of MDE Clayton-Stamm, a collector of Pre-Raphaelite art and its followers between the 1950s-70s and co-author of a book on William De Morgan, whom Evelyn married in 1887.
This is not the first time works by the artist from the Clayton-Stamm collection have sold at auction. Last November, the Cirencester saleroom sold The Angel of Death, an Edward Burne-Jones-inspired picture in gold pastel, for an auction-record £39,000.
In the latest sale’s Old Master section, a 17th century Italian School painting of The Holy Family believed to have been part of the collection of the former British Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel (1788-1850) made £7400 (£2000-300 estimate). A small pen and ink portrait of the Italian humanist scholar and diplomat Johann Matthaus Wackenfels von Jungfrauendorf (1550-1619), c.1614, sold for £6000 (£700-1000 estimate).