Pont Valentré by Joseph Southall – £11,000 at Mellors & Kirk.

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In 1997, one of Southall’s highly crafted tempura paintings, The Daughter of Herodias, sold at Sotheby’s New York for $280,000 (around £170,000), making it the most valuable work by the artist to sell at auction.

Less prized among collectors but still sought after are his watercolour landscapes and figure subjects inspired by his extensive trips to Europe, especially Italy and France.

Two such examples appeared for sale at Mellors & Kirk (24% buyer’s premium) on August 9 in Nottingham, signed with the artist’s monogram.

They were described as in ‘fine original condition’ and came with provenance to Prof Frederick Charles Lea (1871-1952), a professor of civil engineering at the University of Birmingham and subsequently professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Sheffield.

Bid to £11,000 against a £2000-3000 estimate was Pont Valentré – a 10 x 14in (25 x 35cm) watercolour depicting the famous 14th century fortified stone arch bridge in Cahors, south-west France.

Several depictions of this bridge by Southall have appeared on the market over the years but few have fetched as much as this example.

Dated 1924, it came in its original frame which included a recess for carrying the picture without touching the gilding of the frame.


Gothic Palace Venice by Southall – £4500 at Mellors & Kirk.

The other work was Gothic Palace Venice, a 12½ x 6in (32 x 14.5cm) mixed media canvas dated 1922, also in the original giltwood frame. Offered at £500-700, it was knocked down for £4500.