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This 13 x 9 1/2in (33 x 24cm) black and white chalk drawing had been discovered under glass in a 19th century gilt frame in an otherwise unremarkable job lot of pictures from a deceased estate.

Further research by Alistair Laing, Pictures and Sculpture Curator of the National Trust, revealed this to be a drawing dating from the 1760s, which had formerly belonged to Gaspard de Sireul (c.1720/30-1781), one of the most important collectors of Boucher drawings. This particular work is documented as being lot 51 in the Sireul Collection sale, held on 3rd December 1781.

Encouraged by this provenance, seven telephones and several bidders in the room contested the lot to £34,000, where it was knocked down to a member of the London trade.