His often idealised depictions of the domestic life of the rural population appealed to such a broad public that Anker has sometimes been called the national painter of Switzerland. They can regularly attract up to seven-figure prices.
On March 22, Beurret, Bailly & Widmer (22% buyer’s premium) in Basel had two works by Anker to sell.
The 10 x 14in (26 x 34cm) oil painting Schreibunterricht III (The Writing Lesson III) was knocked down to a Swiss collector for a low-estimate SFr300,000 (£265,485). It was dated 1865 and is one of several versions of the same motif.
This example had belonged to a Swiss collector since 1962.
There was no information about the provenance of the second work, a 21 x 15in (53 x 38cm) charcoal drawing from 1880, entitled Mädchen mit Krug (Girl with Pitcher). In keeping with other motifs by Anker, the lighting of the scene and appearance of the young girl was reminiscent of a Renaissance Madonna.
Numerous bidders were enchanted by the picture and pushed it over the SFr80,000 guide to a hammer price of SFr270,000 (£238,940).