Portrait of Kate Perugini (1839-1929).

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Five years ago, at the Guildford rooms of Clarke Gammon this Kate Perugini (1839-1929) portrait, right, of Dora, the daughter of one Anderson Critchett FRCS, didn't attract a single bid. The disappointed vendor took back the painting which, as Victorian specialists will know, is by Charles Dickens' daughter. Three years later, she tried to find a buyer through the London trade. Again she was unsuccessful, prompting her to put it under the hammer again at the newly named Clarke Gammon Wellers (15% buyer's premium) on December 14 with an estimate of £7000-10,000.

Signed and dated 1892, and recorded as being exhibited at the Royal Academy in the following year, this 3ft 10in x 2ft (1.16m x 91cm) canvas had originally been bought by the vendor for £6000 at Christie's back in July 1983. The fact that it was a sizeable painting in re-lined and restored condition, together with its prior exposure in the trade, should, in theory, have reduced its commercial appeal, but it remained an undeniably pretty image with some nice sporting details and, this time round, it attracted determined interest from a London trade buyer who thought he could still scent a profit, underbid by a Cranleigh-based private. The final bid of £16,500 was apparently broadly in line with what the trade had been asked for the painting before the sale. Such are the vagaries of trying to find buyers for works of art.