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Measuring 5ft 10in by 3ft 3in (1.77 x 1m), the tapestry is titled Irish Tinkers and relates to the series of pictures the artist produced following a year spent among an encampment of travellers in 1945. As indicated by an inscribed canvas label, pictured below right, it was made in a limited edition - perhaps as small as five - at the Aubusson looms of Tabard Frères & Soeurs in 1948.

Published and exhibited on half a dozen occasions since its manufacture, it was last on the market in 1966 when it was bought by Gerald Goldberg from the Dawson Gallery, Dublin. At the 500-lot sale of the Gerald and Sheila Goldberg collection on October 5 it was sold to a collector from Northern Ireland at €120,000 (£77,500) plus 17 per cent buyer's premium.

Louis le Brocquy, who still lives and works in Dublin, joined the ranks of Lavery and Yeats as £1m Irish artists when £1.15m was paid for Travelling Woman with Newspaper in 2000.