Lot 45, a large marine oil created a stir at Richard Winterton’s Fine Art Sale in Lichfield this week.

The painting measuring 75cm by 125cm by one of our celebrated marine artists George Chambers II (c.1830-c.1868) had been discovered in a house in the Lichfield area. The vendor had purchased it in the 1970’s from an antique shop and now wanted something more modern and decided to sell it.

George Chambers II (c.1830-c.1868)

Depicting in stunning detail a Man-of-war leaving Portsmouth Harbour, (the location verified by The National Maritime Museum at Greenwich) dwarfing a small sailing vessel and a buoy bobs around in the foreground. Although painted in the mid nineteenth century, it shows an earlier scene probably inspired by Chamber’s father who is also a renowned marine artist.

Such subjects are popular as they evoke a bygone age in our marine history. Three telephone bidders and room bidders battled to secure it, sailing past the £4,000-6,000 estimate to bring £9,500 won by a determined UK phone bidder. Valuer Adrian Rathbone comments:

‘Very few large oils by Chambers II have appeared on the market and this is a record price for such a work at this Auction House. When I visited the vendor, she informed me it cost £1,500 back in the 1970’s’.

Elsewhere in the picture section, Lot 36 a watercolour titled ‘Joe Willet and the Sergeant Barnaby Rudge’ discovered in Sutton Coldfield sold for £2,100 and a series of Sir Terry Frost limited edition prints totalled over £5,000.

Other highlights included Lot 207, a nineteenth century KPM portrait plaque discovered in Etwall, Derbyshire at £2,600 and Lot 244, a rare detailed model of Stephenson’s rocket at £1,000.

Fine antique Japanese ivories of the Meiji period are fetching strong prices, illustrated here with Lot 246 a shibayama tusk vase at £1,200 and Lot 247 a model of an archer at £1,600. In the decorative arts section, Lot 274, a copper welled dish by John Pearson dated 1893 brought £1,300 against a £400-600 pre-sale estimate.

The next Fine Art Sale is in November and entries are currently being invited. Contact Adrian Rathbone on 01543 251081 for further information.

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