‘Lost’ Constable drawing for sale at Mallams

A ‘lost’ drawing by John Constable (1776-1837) is due for sale this month estimated at £3,500-£4,000.

ConstableSketchGraham Reynolds’ book The Late Paintings and Drawings of John Constable, 1984, mentions a pencil drawing of the back and shoulders of John Constable’s wife Maria with the ‘whereabouts unknown’.

Reynolds writes: “I know this drawing only from a photograph; on that evidence it looks convincing.”

Mallams, Oxford, recruited Constable specialist Anne Lyles and paper historian and analyst Peter Bower to help authenticate the work.

The drawing, measuring 11.5×8.3cm, is one of many Constable drew of his wife and is dated in pencil 1891 and inscribed Maria.

The last recorded whereabouts for this work was in June 1949 when it appeared for sale at a Sotheby’s auction entitled Catalogue of the Well-Known Collection of Paintings and Drawings by John Constable R.A… The work still bears a label on the reverse stating From the Collection of Dr H.A.C. Gregory, M.C., No.12.

The drawing has then been in a private house since the 1950s after it was bought by the parents of the current vendor.

The drawing goes up for sale at Mallams’ picture sale on July 8.

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