Portrait of a girl by Richard Eurich, £5000 at Thomson Roddick.

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Born and raised in Bradford, he studied at the local art school before going to London to attend the Slade.

He became an official war artist during the Second World War, producing a series of powerful paintings – not least Withdrawal from Dunkirk, June 1940 which is now in the National Maritime Museum.

His output ranges from marine scenes to Stanley Spencer-esque figurative pictures. It also includes semi-abstract landscapes and mysterious neo-Romantic portraits with the latter fetching a wide range of sums at auction.

While the price of all art is ultimately determined by the taste of buyers for any given work, it seems to be especially so with Eurich.

Hard to pitch

A recent work that emerged at Thomson Roddick (20% buyer’s premium) in Carlisle was therefore probably not the easiest work to estimate.

The 8½ x 6½in (22 x 17cm) oil on board showing a girl’s head in profile was signed and dated 29. Although head studies of young female figures by the artist have made up to £11,000 previously (one fetched this amount at Bonhams in 2013), others have made significantly less.

With the sitter unknown, the Cumbrian saleroom plumped for a £300-500 pitch, something which brought interest from several interested parties who helped push it to a final £5000.

Although works by Eurich can make a good deal more, this was a notable price for a work of this size.