Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Offered among a small privatelyconsigned group of watercolours by the prolific Staithes Group marine painter Frank Mason (1875-1965) was a large and dramatic shipwreck scene off the coast of Whitby.

The 9½in x 2ft 5in (24 x 74cm) work was described in the catalogue note as in “extremely good order” with “bright and strong colours”.

Guided at an attractive £400-600, it was pursued to £4200 where it was knocked down to a private bidder on the internet in the north east of England. “I think that the scene was clearly off Whitby helped the price considerably, but we were still surprised at the figure it made,” said Mitchells auctioneer Mark Wise.

By contrast, a marine work of a ship floating on water as calm as a millpond sold for £2600 to the trade against a £500-800 estimate. Titled Light Schooner Grecian, the 16 x 23in (40 x 58cm) oil on canvas came from the same source and had originally been catalogued as another work by Mason but was later changed to ‘19th century English School’ after it became clear it was an older painting.

The Grecian was an American schooner captured by the British in 1814 and deployed on anti-smuggling duties in the Channel.

The sale took place on September 6.