Watercolour of an urban street scene, attributed to John Singer Sargent, which sold along with a Venetian scene for $26,000 (£20,300) at Amelia Jeffers.

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Both were part of a collection of over 300 Renaissance, Modernist and 19th century paintings from the estate of the late Carl Eriksson, a civil engineer and past president of the Scandinavian Club of Columbus.

These two watercolour sketches were both described as ‘possibly John Singer Sargent’. Eriksson had unknowingly bought both together: one had been found folded and tucked behind the other in its frame after purchase.

The larger and more ‘finished’ of the two works was a 6 x 8in (15 x 20cm) urban street scene populated with the well-dressed of European or American society. With more than enough technical skill on show to convince bidders the signature was ‘right’, it hammered well above the $800-1200 guide at $26,000 (£20,300).


Venetian scene watercolour attributed to John Singer Sargent which sold for along with an urban street scene for $26,000 (£20,300) at Amelia Jeffers.

The smaller of the two works at 5½ x 4½in (14 x 11cm) - the bonus buy found inside the frame - was signed and titled verso A Wet Day in Venice. Additional framer’s notes and the price 20 francs appeared in pencil below.

Between 1898 and 1913 Sargent visited Venice almost every year, attracted by a community of friends and colleagues who gathered there and by the city’s scenic possibilities. In this composition, a sculpture loosely formed in the foreground appears to depict a lion, the emblem of St Mark, patron saint of the city.

This work hammered for $7750 (£6050) against the same $800-1200 estimate.