On the Kentish Downs by Algernon Newton, £26,000 at Tennants.

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The view of the Kentish Downs by Algernon Newton (1880-1968) was a relatively late work but, being a vivid, moody and precisely executed study, it possessed many of the qualities that the London-born artist applied to his later landscapes, just as he did with his earlier urban scenes (paintings of London’s canals in particular were a favourite subject).

The 2ft x 3ft (61cm x 92cm) oil on canvas at Tennants was displayed at the 1958 Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy. It was one of a series of Kentish landscapes that the artist painted in the mid-to-late 1950s.

Another titled Chilham Valley, Kent sold at Bonhams for £15,000 in 2015. A similarly sized work but with a wider view, it too had been exhibited at the RA in 1956.

The current picture had passed through London dealer Fine Art Society in the 1970s and, more recently, Piano Nobile.

As such it was a ‘known’ picture and the great-grandson of the artist, Sir Mark Jones who assisted Tennants in providing provenance and exhibition history, will include it in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Newton’s work.

Offered at the auction on November 11 with a £8000-12,000 estimate, it was taken up to £26,000, selling to a UK private buyer against interest from both the trade and other collectors.

Shipshape subject


The First Ship by Percy Morton Teasdale, £8000 at Tennants.

Another lot in demand at the North Yorkshire sale was a painting by Percy Morton Teasdale (1870-1961) of a boy being taught to build a boat by an old fisherman.

The First Ship had a typical subject for the Staithes group artist who was born in West Garforth, near Leeds, and the 4ft 1in x 3ft 3in (1.26 x 1m) signed oil on canvas was originally bought by relatives of John Wood, another Leeds artist with whom Teasdale shared a studio in Robin Hood’s Bay.

It had previously sold below estimate at £2700 at Bonhams Chester in 2010 (where its title was given as The boat builder, Robin Hood’s Bay) and it came to auction here from a private UK collection according to the Tennants catalogue.

Having been relined, cleaned and revarnished, it performed impressively against a lower pitch of £1500-2500 this time around, selling at £8000 to a UK private buyer.

Assuming the buyer at Bonhams was the seller here, the sum represented a notable return over the 13-year period, even accounting for inflation.