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Still in its original frame, the signed watercolour measured 151/2 x 201/4in (39 x 52cm) and depicted what is likely to be either Rye or Tollesbury. Ravilious visited both coastal towns in 1938 and the picture was first exhibited at his last one-man show at Tooths Gallery in May 1939. Ravilious died three years later, aged 39, when his plane disappeared on patrol near Iceland. The picture was bought at the Tooths exhibition by an art teacher and was sent to auction by her nephew who now lives in Ireland.

Bidding started at £42,000, but it finally rose to £76,000, falling to London dealers The Fine Art Society who bought it for stock.