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But with the EU now expanded to 25 members, the developing economies of countries like the Czech Republic, Poland and Hungary offer new growth areas for the 19th century European Paintings market.

Such potential was tellingly underlined at Sotheby's when a Hungarian collector in the room bid a triple-estimate £525,000 for the extremely decorative 1885 Mihály Munkácsy (1844-1900) canvas, By the Stream, top right. This totally untouched 3ft 11in x 3ft (1.19 x 91cm) canvas, offered by a German family who have owned it since 1920, showed two elegantly dressed young ladies in a slickly painted forest glade. This kind of Hungarian chocolate-box painting clearly has an established client base, but the market in more modern Hungarian painters - most notably Károly Patkó (1895-1941) - still has some way to go.

Patkó looks as though he will eventually become the Anne Redpath of the Hungarian art market, but, at the moment, his decorative and colourful still lifes are waiting for a new audience of thirty- and fortysomething collectors with luxury apartments in Budapest, and at, Sotheby's, were selling at within-estimate sums of £13,000, for the market-fresh 1923 still life, bottom right, to £11,000 apiece.