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Hotly pursued to £18,000 against an attractive £6000-8000 guide in the July 18 auction was a scantily catalogued Renaissance diptych of The Annunciation.

Catalogued as ‘Florentine School (c.1500)’, the 17 x 7in (44 x 18cm) tempera and gold ground piece was secured by a private Italian buyer.

“The diptych was a lovely example of the Florentine school from this period and the subject matter of the Annunciation is one of the more popular biblical scenes,” said Jennie Fisher, head of pictures at Dreweatts.

“These very early works are relatively rare to the market and being a completely fresh lot from a local private consignor made it very desirable to both trade and private buyers from the UK and Italy.”

Biblical females

A haunting watercolour of the Madonna by Edgard Maxence (1871-1954) sold to a UK private buyer at £5200 against a £1000- 1200 guide.

With a gallery label for Walker Bagshawe Fine Art in London, the 14½ x 11¼in (37 x 29cm) shows the French Symbolist painter’s focus on biblical female subjects.

The 194-lot sale at Dreweatts totalled £206,260 with 73% sold. It also achieved £15,000 for an Edward Seago (1910-74) oil of Portugal and £22,000 for a pair of marine paintings by the popular German painter Anton Schranz (1769-1839).