It is ascribed to an unidentified artist known as the Monogrammist HC, a painter who specialised in village scenes and busy interiors. Active in Antwerp, the artist appears close to genre painter Willem van Herp (c.1614-77).
Although the two artists shared similar subjects and their works have stylistic similarities, the monogrammist’s output is characterised by figures on a larger scale. The 19¾in x 2ft 9in (50 x 85cm) oil on canvas in West Sussex is estimated at £1500-2500.
Elsewhere at the sale is a painting of a chestnut hunter in a stable with a groom and terrier by John Ferneley Sr (1782-1860).
One of the leading equine artists of his generation, Ferneley Sr was a prolific painter who specialised both in pictures of hunts in full cry and also individual portraits of the animals themselves.
The oil on canvas at Bellmans was painted in Melton Mowbray in 1826 and, having been part of a UK private collection, is now estimated at £8000-12,000.