'Still Life with Fruit in Slipware Bowl' by John Aldridge – £12,500 at Lacy Scott & Knight.

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The 17¾ x 22in (45 x 56cm) oil on canvas came from a private vendor located close to Cambridge who contacted the Bury St Edmunds saleroom auction house with the intention of selling a large collection of Moorcroft pottery but, at the end of a house visit, asked the firm to also sell this painting.

Dating from 1968, it had been purchased by the seller in 1988 at the Fry Art Gallery, Saffron Walden.

An appealing composition, it combined a detailed depiction of fruit in a slipware bowl in the foreground with a more loosely painted winter landscape (a painting within a painting) to the background.

Key figures

Aldridge moved to Great Bardfield in 1933, mixing with figures such as Edward Bawden, with whom he shared a love of gardening, and Eric Ravilious. He remained there until his death 50 years later.

He had no formal art training but produced a good number of attractive landscapes, garden views and still lifes, including those produced on various trips abroad, which brought him to the attention of London dealerships Leicester Galleries and later the New Grafton Gallery (although he refused many offers from agents to represent him).

The previous auction high for Aldridge was posted by Cheffins in October 2016 when a view of The Mill Pond, Great Bardfield, Essex took £9500.

The still-life here was pitched at £800-1200 and, with interest from both dealers and private buyers, it was eventually knocked down at £12,500, selling to an Essex-based collector who saw off determined underbidding from the London trade.