Showing his hometown on the Solway Coast of Cumbria, it was signed and dated 1887 and titled Old Maryport in The Year 1834 Looking Over The Graving Bank To The Drawbridge Moat Hill.
The detailed 2ft 4in x 4ft (72cm x 1.23m) oil on canvas was also inscribed on the back with a list of the well known characters of that date that were depicted in the scene including Mick Hutchinson, wooden leg, Crazy Barney, Will Tyson… and Young Benson.
Mitchells has sold plenty of works by the artist over the years but this was the first example that the auction house had seen where the figures themselves were documented.
The catalogue stated that this made it ‘particularly important from a historical context’.
Private collector outbid
It was entered for the sale on June 15-17 by a local family and given a £5000-8000 estimate but was bid up to £7500, at which point the gavel fell to Maryport Maritime Museum which managed to outbid a private collector.
This was the second-highest price for the artist at auction, only behind another detailed view of Maryport Harbour that made £8000, also at Mitchells, in 2015.