THE West Midlands auctioneers Fieldings (12.5% buyer’s premium) are making something of a habit of getting impressive prices for market-fresh watercolours by the Newlyn School painter Walter Langley (1852-1922).
On February 28 they sold a Langley watercolour of a bearded fisherman at £12,000 against an estimate of £3000-4000. Just over two months later, on May 8, this similarly-estimated, but more obviously commercial, 13 1/2 x 7 1/2in (34 x 19cm) watercolour, right, of a woman seated on a harbour wall reached £22,000.
Dated c.1895, this signed drawing had been in the same family for 50 years and was described by the auctioneers as being in "perfect" condition.
The buyer was the same local collector who had bought Fieldings' other Langley. This time round, he faced competition from four telephone bidders, other privates in the room and a substantial commission.