River Stour, Essex by Algernon Newton, £7000 at Dore & Rees.

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This year so far has been marked by some prominent dealer collections coming to the market. Two such auctions held within a day of each other in particular generated some notable demand among the pictures on offer.

First was the extraordinary collection of the late George Withers that appeared at Dore & Rees (25% buyer’s premium) in Frome, Somerset – an array of over 2200 lots across multiple categories (see Auction Reports in ATG No 2635).

The 102 picture lots appeared on the first of the three-day sale on February 21-23.

With the estimates mostly set at enticing levels, some fierce bidding emerged on certain lots. These included a small but charming view of the River Stour in Essex by Algernon Newton (1880-1968) which led the fine art section of the sale.

Bearing an old Leicester Galleries label to the back, giving the date of June 1941, the 4¾ x 6¾in (12 x 17cm) oil on board was one of only a small number of works that the artist is known to have painted on this scale.

Another similarly sized oil on board titled House tops and sky (also with a Leicester Galleries label) sold for €28,000 (£23,995) at Sotheby’s Paris in 2021. But while the current work was very different in terms of subject, composition and atmosphere, it nevertheless had significant appeal too – especially against an estimate of just £200-300.

After a flurry of bidding, it was eventually knocked down at £7000 to a UK buyer – a sum that stands behind only the above-mentioned work at Sotheby’s in terms of auction records for Newton’s works on this scale.


Sunset, Port of Lido, Venice by Edward Cooke, £5000 at Dore & Rees.

Another relatively small picture that also had provenance to a leading dealer was a sunset view of the Venice Lido by Edward William Cooke (1811-80). The 12½ x 8¼in (32 x 21cm) watercolour was signed and dated 1864 and carried a label on the back for Thomas Agnew & Sons.

While larger oil paintings by the artist can be a five-and even six-figure proposition, this work on paper had an appealing subject and attractive serene lighting. It flew over a £300-500 estimate and sold at £5000, again being knocked down to a UK buyer. The price was the fourth highest at auction for a watercolour by Cooke according to

The Withers collection also featured a strong selection of folk art which generally met good demand.


Horse drawn milk cart, a painting catalogued as ‘English naive school (19th century)’ which made £3200 at Dore & Rees.

A painting of a Victorian horse-drawn milk cart did particularly well. The 2ft 4in x 3ft (71 x 91cm) oil on canvas was catalogued as “English naive school (19th century)” and had an interesting inscription E. BROWN, …… Dairy, Camden Town – probably a reference to Brown’s Dairy which stood on the present site of Camden’s Underground station in north London.

According to one website relating to London’s local history, Brown’s had a Gothic-style facade which earn it the nickname ‘Cows’ Cathedral’. Estimated at £100-150, the picture sold at £3200 to a UK buyer.

Dailey bulletin

Meanwhile, Sworders staged a successful sale of works from the collection of dealer Maurice ‘Dick’ Turpin (1928-2005) in January – reported in ATG No 2634. This was followed on February 22 with the auction of the Warner Dailey collection – a varied dispersal of 338 lots that came from the Lewisham home of the Anglo-American art and antiques dealer.

In all, 70 Dailey lots comprised paintings and works on paper. With 44 of them selling (63%), the picture section contributed a hammer total of £42,550 to the bottom line with some major returns recorded in terms of the increase over the prices Dailey had originally paid.


Print of De Drie Bruiden (The Three Brides), a print by Jan Toorop, £16,000 at Sworders’ sale of the Warner Dailey collection.

This was particularly the case with a Jan Toorop (1858-1928) print that led the sale overall. The 16½ x 20in (42 x 51cm) signed impression was based on one of the Dutch- Indonesian artist’s best-known Symbolist works, De Drie Bruiden (The Three Brides) from 1893. The image depicted a young woman in the middle and incorporated plenty of motifs relating to sensuality and nature.

Toorop’s dreamy compositions with Art Nouveau linework can be a valuable proposition – many have fetched high five-figure prices at auction in the last 10 years.

This picture here had been acquired by Dailey at a Roseberys auction in 2004 where it made a hammer price of just £360. However, it had since been realised that the printed work which dated from 1895 also had elements created in chalk – a factor that may well have helped lift its value significantly (the auction house took numerous detailed photos showing the key areas which were published in the online catalogue).

Estimated at £300-500, it was offered with two exhibition catalogues from 1918 and 1928 and attracted interest from a number of international bidders. It was eventually knocked down at £16,000 and Sworders said it has now reached its new owner in New York.


Adam and Eve by Audrey Muriel Weber, £4000 at Sworders.

Meanwhile, a large oil on canvas by Audrey Muriel Weber (1891- 1982) which Dailey purchased for £200 privately in the south of France in 1997 also made a return many times over. The signed work titled Adam and Eve measured 6ft 7in x 4ft 9in (2 x 1.46m) and was thought to date from the 1930s.

The artist has little track record at auction but is known to have studied at the Royal Academy from 1915-22 and subsequently produced posters for Southern Railway. This particular work was commissioned for the Natural History Museum which meant it had considerable appeal to collectors.

Estimated at £1500-2000, it was knocked down at £4000 to a London dealer.


French naval officer by Robin Jacques, £600 at Sworders.

One of the more esoteric lots in the sale was a caricature of a French naval officer by Robin Jacques (1920-95), an illustrator who was art editor for The Strand Magazine and whose work was published in over 100 novels and children’s books. The artist was the brother of actress Hatty Jacques of Carry On fame.

The 17 x 14½in (43 x 37cm) pen, ink and watercolour was signed and dated ’43 making it a relatively early work which Dailey purchased from a house clearance for £50. Here it was pitched at £200-300 and sold at £600 to a private collector – seemingly the highest sum for the few works by the artist that have ever appeared at auction.