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Expressing an interest in Vanity Fair prints, the shorter man asked for a framing estimate to be done while the other looked at prints, stealing A Blacksmith’s Shop engraved by Richard Earlom after Joseph Wright. Published by John Boydell and dated 25 August 1771, the 211/2 x 17in (61 x 43cm) mezzotint, a second state of three, is from the Christopher Lennox-Boyd collection and carries an accession number in pencil to the reverse. It was mounted in a black frame with gold slip.

Reacting with speed following a robbery is often of paramount importance and within less than 24 hours Sarah Boada-Momtahan, manager at Sanders, had contacted Thames Valley Police, Trace, the Antiques Trade Gazette plus all of the specialist dealers she knew in the London and Brighton area.

Thames Valley Police patrol constable Mark Weavers is in charge of the case. The crime reference number is BK181873103, URN11 03 03/06/03.