A painting of a young girl by Joshua Hargrave Sams Mann (1826-86) that appeared at a sale held by Parker Fine Art Auctions (25% buyer’s premium) suggested that, in certain cases, this can indeed be true.
The size, subject, and style of the painting was typical of the artist who is known to have been a friend of Whistler and who often derived his subjects from poetry. Pictures of youthful sitters in various guises, such as the current work, emerge occasionally at auction and, while a couple have sold for over £5000, most sell for under £1000.
The 10½ x 9in (27 x 23cm) signed oval oil on panel here had been carefully passed down through four generations of the same family and had been hanging on the wall in a replacement frame. Luckily, however, the ornate original had been retained and was found inside an old suitcase.
With the original frame reinstated before the auction in Farnham on July 7, it was offered with a £600-800 estimate, a level that felt about right for a work on this scale. But, after bidding came from a number of parties, it sold for £1000 – almost certainly above the level it would have made in a different frame.