Demand buoyant in Oxfordshire picture sale

An atmospheric watercolour by the British artist Alfred William Hunt (1830-1896) was the top performing lot in a recent picture sale in Oxfordshire.

Signed and dated 1857, The Langdale Pikes clearly captured the imagination of bidders with the price soaring ever upwards, eventually selling for £8,200 to an online trade bidder in the UK.

Alfred William Hunt - The Langdale Pikes

Dorothea Sharp is best known for her landscapes and depictions of children playing and the sale featured an oil painting attributed to this artist. As a great example of Sharp’s work, featuring children playing with a toy boat in the Tuileries Garden, Paris, the work was inscribed to the reverse in pencil and dated 1945. It was estimated at £3,000-£5,000 but strong competition pushed it above this estimate, with a final, winning bid of £7,800 coming from a UK commission bidder.

Children playing with a toy boat - Attributed to Dorothea Sharp

A striking, 18th-century Dutch school oil painting of a harbourside town with windmills, fishing boats and a cathedral, also performed well, selling for £4,000 against a £2,000-£3,000 estimate.

A large, still life by British artist Frederick Victor Bailey (1919-1997) proved popular amongst bidders. Signed and dated 1979, it featured a vase of mixed flowers with grapes and nuts alongside and achieved almost three times top estimate when the hammer fell at £2,200.

Two other 20th-century paintings of note were a watercolour entitled The Farm on the Hill by Stanley Anderson (1884-1966), estimated at £700-£900; and a striking watercolour of a Nuthatch by Basil Ede (1931-2016), estimated at £200-£300. Both achieved hammer prices of £1,900.