Picture of a white bull, goat and sheep by Dutch animal painter Paulus Potter which sold for £5500 at Martel Maides.

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This picture, above, of a white bull, goat and sheep was one of them and was offered alongside a handful of other Dutch Old Masters at Guernsey saleroom Martel Maides (17.5% buyer’s premium) on November 15.

Consigned from a local deceased estate, the signed 21½ x 18in (54 x 46cm) oil on oak panel, dated to 1647, had been in the same family since before the Second World War.

James Bridges, managing director at Martel Maides, said: “[The vendor’s] Georgian town house had some very interesting paintings on the wall, including the Potter and the Romney – which sadly didn’t sell – and also a large number stacked up in the attic which hadn’t been hung since the family moved to Guernsey.”

Dirty with possible repainting and heavily cleaned at some point in the 19th century, it sold to the UK trade at £5500, nearly twice the top estimate.

“I’d love to believe that perhaps we’re seeing signs of the market strengthening a little for good consignments,” said Bridges. “Certainly, our experience throughout this year is that good pictures have sold well and seen strong pre-sale interest, most encouragingly from the trade.”