It came to the Winchester auction house, which was previously part of Bellmans but launched under the new guise of Rushbrooks earlier this year, from a descendant of one Reverend William Ross.
The latter had bought it at an exhibition of the artist’s work in Paris in the 1920s and the 2ft 1in x 2ft 8in (64 x 81cm) signed oil on canvas had an old label on the verso giving the title as ‘Vers Le Soir, Engadine’.
Choultsé was born in St. Petersburg and was already an established artist by the time he left Russia after the Revolution before settling in Paris permanently in the early 1920s. He continued to travel widely and built up an international clientele for his works including collectors from France, the UK and the US.
The subject of snowy mountainous with the pine tree and shimmering sunsets were a speciality of Choultsé with his views of Engadine valley in the Swiss Alps, the location here, being among his most popular works. In the last 10 years, a number of good-sized examples have made strong five-figure and even six-figure prices at auction.
The picture here was estimated at £30,000 at the timed online sale (the format in which all Rushbrooks’ auctions take place) that closed on July 11.
In a decent state with only some slight scuff marks and small areas of retouching visible under UV light, its ready-to-hang condition added to its favourable size and trademark style and subject. These factors ensured it generated strong interest and it was bid to a final £86,500, selling to a European buyer.
The buyer’s premium was 22.5% including VAT.