'Sunflowers and Girls' by John Bratby – £6000 at Reeman Dansie.

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That stand-out result, securing a portrait of her son Bartholomew, was reported on the front page of ATG No 2478.

Elsewhere at the auction, though, a number of the other works offered in Colchester drew interest among the 176 picture lots including a large and colourful John Bratby (1928-92) painting.

The 4ft x 3ft (1.21m x 91cm) signed oil on canvas was titled Sunflowers and Girls. Dating from 1973, it had many trademark features such as the garish figures, bold colours and thickly applied paint. Also typical of the ‘kitchen sink’ artist was the no-frills and inexpensive frame in which it was housed.

Coming to the Reeman Dansie January 26-27 auction from a deceased local estate, the combination of a figurative picture and still-life gave it a distinctive appeal and the £1500-2500 estimate was not deemed excessive. After a decent bidding battle it sold for £6000 to a buyer believed to be a UK collector.

Craig landscapes


View of cattle and a herder by James Humbert Craig – £4600 at Reeman Dansie.

Two of the more traditional pictures attracting attention in Colchester were Irish landscapes by James Humbert Craig (1877-1944). Offered from the same source and coming in gilt frames, first up was a 14¼ x 19¼in (36 x 49cm) signed oil on board of figures and rowing boats on an Irish lough.

Estimated at £1500-2000, it sold for £3500 to an Irish buyer.

The following lot was an identically sized and signed oil on board showing a cattle and a herder in an extensive green landscape with mountains in the background.

With its deeper colours and details standing out a bit more than its companion, it drew greater competition and was knocked down at £4600 to a private buyer local to the saleroom.