The seller on November 6 was an established client of the North Yorkshire firm who had bought from auctions and dealers over the last 25 years and was now downsizing.
Uppermost among the lots was a beach scene by Newlyn School artist Dorothea Sharp (1874-1955) which had been bought from Broadway gallery Trinity House Paintings.
Pictures of children at the seaside were a significant part of her oeuvre, although the ones that tend to command the higher sums are her earlier impressionistic scenes whereas this 11¾ x 15¾in (30 x 40cm) signed oil on board appeared to be somewhat later, judging by its looser style.
Its fluid handling and tonal composition, however, meant it was deemed an attractive proposition against a £10,000-15,000 estimate and it sold at £16,500 to a buyer from the Cotswolds who was bidding on thesaleroom.com. It was underbid by a local collector on the phone.
By the same artist and from the same source, Young Girl with a Lamb on a Hillside was offered as the following lot and sold online below estimate at £3600.
Whitby scene bought in Whitby
A third picture from the local vendor was a view of Whitby Harbour by Richard Weatherill (1844-1913) that had been bought at a Bairstow Eves auction in Whitby itself for £19,500 back in September 2001. Showing sailing boats and a steam paddle boat, Hercules, at low tide, the 23½in x 2ft 11in (60 x 90cm) signed oil on canvas was here pitched at £7000-10,000 and drew competition before being knocked down at £9600 to a Yorkshire collector.
The fall in price compared to 19 years earlier could demonstrate a challenging market for Victorian coastal scenes currently.
The same was the case with another lot purchased by the same buyer – four Henry Redmore (1820-87) circular oils on board of fishing boats that were offered as a single lot and made £6400. The previous owner had bought them at a Duggleby sale in April 2007 for £14,000.
A coastal scene from the local vendor’s collection was Wreck of the Coupland by Redmore. It showed an infamous event where a South Shields schooner attempted to enter Scarborough Harbour during the Great Storm on November 2, 1861.
In the foreground, the lifeboat Amelia can be seen attempting to aid the stricken boat before it was dashed against the seawall and two of the crew tragically lost. The six members of the Coupland crew eventually survived after a line was successfully thrown from the spa and they were landed on the promenade before the schooner itself was wrecked.
The memorable event was witnessed by a large crowd and was painted by Redmore a number of times. This smaller version, an unsigned oil on canvas measuring 9 x 15in (23 x 38.5cm), was estimated at £5000-7000 and, with two Yorkshire collectors going head-to-head, it eventually sold at £6100.
The work had previously sold at Christie’s in November 2014 for £7500, suggesting that Redmore has fared better commercially than some other marine artists of the period.
Elsewhere at the sale was a strong selection of Staithes Group pictures, something not uncommon at a Duggleby auction. While the top price among the 36 lots was the £3100 for The Harvest Field with Horse Drawn Binder by Ernest Higgins Rigg (1868-1947), a stronger competition developed for a view of Runswick Bay by Arthur A Friedenson (1872-1955).
The 11¾ x 18in (30 x 46cm) signed oil on canvas was dated ‘94 and was one of a number of views of the scenic spot on the Yorkshire coast that the Leeds-born artist painted.
Having studied in Paris and Antwerp, he joined the colony of artists working in the fishing village of Staithes on his return to England and exhibited at the Royal Academy from 1889.
While the highest price for a view of this location came at Bonhams in November 2007 when Autumn Morning took £16,000, this picture was considerably smaller and subsequently pitched at a lower level. The £500-800 estimate was deemed relatively attractive by a number of parties and it sold at £1700 – a solid performance given current market conditions.