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A well-known champion of artists in north-west England, most notably Sheila Fell, Percy Kelly and Alfred Wainwright, Burkett (right) died aged 90 in November 2014. The items have come from her former home, Isel Hall in Cumbria - a large ancient estate left to her by her friend and distant relative Margaret Austen Leigh.

Forming 500-600 lots on September 3-4, the highlights include 140 'painted letters' from Percy Kelly (1918-93) to Mary Burkett, dating from c.1971 onwards. Many were used in the book Dear Mary, Love Percy - A Creative Thread, edited by David A Cross. Offered separately, estimates range from £50-600.

Schwitters Painting

Several artworks by the German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) will also be offered. He lived in Ambleside in the Lake District in the final years of his life. Burkett did much research into this period of the artist's career, exhibiting works at Abbot Hall during her 20-year tenure. Pictures at the auction include Landscape from Sweden Bridge from 1946, an oil painting estimated at £2500-4000.

Along with 80 lots of studio pottery by artists such as Lucie Rie (1902-95) and Hans Coper (1920-81), numerous works of art made in felt are on sale. Burkett was founder and president of the International Feltmakers Association and a world authority on artistic feltmaking. 

Mitchells auctioneer Mark Wise said: "It's very fitting that this collection is to be sold here at Mitchells in Cockermouth, a saleroom she regularly attended and knew well."