Six pencil studies for The Days of Creation by Sir Edward Coley Burne-Jones (1833-98) carry an estimate of £150,000-250,000 at Bonhams’ 19th century art sale in New Bond Street on January 23.
These highly finished 19 x 7in (49 x 18cm) drawings c.1871 were later worked up into the six much larger gouache and watercolour-on-linen versions, five of which are now in Harvard's Fogg Art Gallery in the US (sadly, one of the panels was stolen in 1970 and remains missing).
They have come to auction for the first time in over 30 years after they were purchased by the vendor's mother from The Maas Gallery in London.
Like many of Burne-Jones' Creation compositions, these images evolved out of his designs for stained glass windows.
Here the pictures relate to a series that the artist made for his friend William Morris in 1870 to adorn the tracery of All Saints' Church in Middleton Cheney, Northamptonshire, and also to the windows he designed for the church of St Editha in Tamworth in 1874.