An illustration of the Polish composer Frederic Chopin by Aubrey Beardsley (1872-1898) was the star attraction at a recent auction in Wales.
Discovered during a routine house call, the
rare 10 x 4in (25 x 10cm) pen and ink drawing was offered by
Peter Francis of Carmarthen on July 24.
It had come to the vendor through André
Raffalovich, a family friend and one of Beardsley's benefactors and
had remained wrapped in tissue paper for several decades.
Four phone lines were active on the day, but
it came down to two bidders who took it well over the attractive
£10,000-15,000 estimate, selling to Rupert Maas of London's Maas
Gallery for £40,500.
The current record for a Beardsley work is
The Climax, an illustration for Oscar Wilde's
Salome which took $180,000 at Boston auction house
Skinner's in November 2008.
The buyer's premium was 20%.