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Portrait by Anna Zinkeisen – £5500 at Mitchells.

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The sisters who were born in Scotland and moved down south to Pinner in 1909 (their surname comes from their father’s Bohemian roots) have been boosted by a number of sales in the last two years, especially the £20,000 record for a portrait by Doris Clare Zinkeisen (1898-1991) at Sotheby’s sale of works from the collection of London dealer Daniel Katz in May 2020.

More recently at Mitchells (22% buyer’s premium) of Cockermouth, Cumbria on June 16 an intriguing portrait by Anna Katrina Zinkeisen (1901-76) overshot a £500-800 estimate. The auction house catalogued the 23½ x 14½in (60 x 37cm) work as an ‘oil on canvas of a flapper’.

Signed and dated 1921, the matching colours of the hair clip and shoes were among the attractive features and, after strong interest emerged, an online buyer took it at £5500, the joint second-highest price for the artist at auction (source: Artprice by Artmarket).

Bathing machine

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'A nude exiting a bathing machine on a beach' by Doris Zinkeisen – £8000 at Duke’s.

A month before, even stronger bidding came at Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) of Dorchester for a painting by her higher-selling sister. The painting by Doris Zinkeisen titled A nude exiting a bathing machine on a beach was offered at the sale of the contents of Wormington Grange on May 12-14.

A 19¾in x 2ft 4in (50 x 70cm) signed oil on canvas, the painting here was somewhat different to her well-regarded society portraits and equestrian studies, although it seemed more in keeping with her more experimental views of fairs and parks.

On the day it proved to have strong commercial appeal, especially against a £800-1500 pitch and it was knocked down at £8000, a sum that stands comfortably within the top-10 auction prices for the artist.

Townsend still-life

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Still-life by Ernest Townsend – £4000 at Duke’s.

While Duke’s Wormington Grange sale was led by a large-scale Algernon Newton (1880-1968) that made a record £225,000 (reported in News, ATG No 2493), another work significantly surpassing a modest estimate was a still-life by the Derby artist Ernest Townsend (1880-1944).

Best known as a very competent portraitist – he painted Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty in 1915 – these small still-life studies of flowers in the manner of the French painter Henri Fantin-Latour are also a known part of his oeuvre and several are among the collection of Townsend works held by Derby Art Gallery.

Back in January, Mallams in Abingdon sold a Townsend canvas titled Marsh Marigolds for £3400 – a surprise sum that was thought to be a record for the artist (see ATG No 2482). However, the result was no flash in the pan.

The 15¾ x 19¼in (40 x 49cm) oil of chrysanthemum blooms in a glass vase on a white cloth at Duke’s was estimated at just £200-400 but sold to a bidder using thesaleroom.com at £4000 – raising the bar for the artist a little higher.