Led by works by Norwich School landscape painter John Sell Cotman (1782-1842), the group, collected over many generations by the family itself and now consigned by a descendant, includes 200 oil paintings, watercolours and etchings as well as works by a number of other British artists.
Fellow Norwich School artist Miles Edmund Cotman (1810-58) and John Joseph Cotman (1814-78) –John Sell’s eldest and second son) – are represented, as well as cousin Frederick George Cotman (1850-1920) and his son Henry William Cotman (1876-1938).
Examples by more recent artists including Kenneth Cotman (1904-94) and Susan Cotman (1948-2022) also feature.
Dawsons will offer the works at its Fine Art & Antiques Auction on May 25.
John Sell Cotman worked in Norfolk and London as painter, archaeological draughtsman and later, on the recommendation of JMW Turner, as a professor at King’s College School.
His best landscape watercolours can breach the six-figure mark, with the record set in 2016 for a watercolour of Walsingham Abbey, Norfolk, that made a hammer price of £280,000 at Bonhams, while his drawings and etchings tend to sell in the hundreds of pounds.
Among the highlights coming up at Dawsons is John Sell Cotman’s portrait of his father Edmund (1759-1844). A Norwich hairdresser who became a wealthy silk and lace merchant, Edmund wanted John to join the family business instead of becoming an artist.
The portrait is estimated at £500-800.