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Spencelayh’s early life as a painter of miniatures may explain the intense realism and intricate detail in his work, shown in the 153/4 by 113/4in (40 x 29.5cm) work and the Victorian sentimentality of the work is typical.

Depicting an elderly gentleman sitting in a rather dilapidated room looking at a picture of his mother – a box of her belongings sits on the floor – the canvas was signed and inscribed with the artist’s name, address and title on two labels to the reverse.

After fierce competition Mother brought an above-estimate £67,850 by an anonymous buyer, who then went on to take the following lot, another Spencelayh entitled Love Birds, an oil on panel indistinctly inscribed to a label on the reverse. At 111/2 by 151/2in (29 x 39cm), this work was smaller in scale than Mother however all the familiar characteristics of Spencelayh were in evidence. Again intensely realistic, this rather intimate interior scene of an elderly gentleman watching his wife tend to two caged birds took a winning bid of £63,250.