15-10-06-2211NE05A Sothebys Constable The Lock.jpg
A second version of Constable’s The Lock which will be offered at Sotheby’s on December 9.

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Christie's picture was painted in 1824 and was the fifth of a series of six large landscapes of the Stour valley that Constable exhibited at the Royal Academy in successive years from 1819 until 1825.

The painting sold immediately after it was put on display and Constable soon started another version, similarly sized at 4ft 7in x 4ft (1.4 x 1.22m) with small differences in the composition.

 It was retained by the artist until the end of his life before it was sold to Charles Birch, a leading collector of the day, and later offered at auction in 1855 where it was acquired by William Orme Foster, a Worcestershire industrialist, in whose family it has remained ever since. The estimate is £8m-12m.