Elisabeth Frink RA diploma donated to the Frink Archive at Dorset History Centre.

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The sculptor and printmaker’s collection had been packed away in the mid-1990s following her death and revisited only in the last couple of years, following the sudden death of her son and heir, Jammet.

Over 100 lots of sculpture, paintings, studio ceramics and other artworks featured at Woolley & Wallis’ Modern British and 20th Century Art auction on August 26.

The objects had been displayed at her house, garden and studio in Dorset called Woolland. The collection more than doubled expectations, reaching just under £270,000 (with premium), leaving just one lot unsold.

Separately, before the auction, Frink’s Royal Academy diploma was actually withdrawn and donated to the Frink Archive at the Dorset History Centre.

The printmaking process of making Royal Academy diplomas has barely changed since the academy was created in 1768.

Once a newly elected Royal Academician has donated a work – known as a Diploma Work – to the RA’s Collection, they receive a document signed by the current sovereign. Each document is printed from the same copper plate that was created by Francesco Bartolozzi RA (1727-1815), one of the RA’s founder members, back in 1769.

Frink’s 2ft 6in x 23in (78 x 57.5cm) diploma is signed by Elizabeth II and it was awarded when she became an Academician in 1977.

Annette Ratuszniak, curator of the Frink Estate and archive, said: The RA certificate will go to the Frink Archive of papers and photographs from her working and domestic life, part of the bequest of artworks given to 11 UK museums from the estate of her son, Lin Jammet.