Composition, 1950 by Nicolas de Stael – £250,000 at Gorringe’s.

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There was some excitement, therefore, when a trademark example appeared at Gorringe’s auction in Lewes, East Sussex, on October 1.

Composition from 1950 was a small oil on canvas measuring 13 x 21¾in (33 x 55cm) but it was very much a ‘known’ work, having featured in both of the artist’s catalogue raisonnés published in 1968 and 1997.

It had previously passed through some major galleries including New York dealers Theodore Schempp and Knoedler & Co, as well as The Redfern Gallery in London. The work was acquired from the latter in 1968 by a collector who gave it as a gift to Gorringe’s vendor.

Estimated at £140,000-180,000, it drew four phone bidders before it was knocked down at £250,000 to a French buyer.

The buyer’s premium was 21%.