A genre scene by Alessandro Milesi, $37,500 (£31,000) at Freeman’s.

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The 2ft 6in x 3ft 7in (76cm x 1.11m) oil on canvas, a mid-period work dated 1890, came from a private collection in New York and was offered with an appealing guide of $3000-5000 at Freeman’s (26/21/15% buyer’s premium) of Philadelphia on February 14.

The subject depicted a man reading the La Venezia newspaper to two young women and is typical of the scenes of the Venetian middle classes Milesi frequently painted.

At his best, Milesi’s paintings have made over £50,000 although the majority sell for under £20,000. According to Artprice, his auction record stands at DM280,000 (around £90,000) for a genre scene of a Venetian woman embroidering her wedding veil.