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Portrait of a lady by Ethel Walker – £10,800 at Sworders.

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As reported in ATG No 2496, Hunter was a London gallery owner who, as well as dealing, assembled an impressive collection across various fields including Indian ornithological pictures and Modern British art.

Walker’s half-length portrait of a lady, a 2ft x 20in (61 x 51cm) signed oil on canvas, was estimated at £800-1200 at the sale on May 18 and was an example of her much-admired naturalistic female portraits painted with thick impasto. The subject was thought to be an actress who posed for her a number of times.

While Walker’s works appear fairly often at auction, portraits of this calibre are rarely available and, after drawing strong competition, it was knocked down at £10,800 to a private London buyer bidding via thesaleroom.com.

Only a still-life that took £13,500 at Christie’s in November 2004 has made more for the artist at auction.