Portrait of John Campbell, 5th Earl and 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane, seated with his hunting dog, by Firmin Massot, £15,000 at RWB Auctions.

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However, a picture of a seated Scottish nobleman offered recently in Wiltshire also demonstrated the demand that can emerge for other types of portrait too.

The 2ft 6in x 2ft (75 x 61cm) oil on canvas of John Campbell, 2nd Marquess of Breadalbane, came to RWB Auctions (10% buyer’s premium) in Royal Wootton Bassett from a local vendor. It showed the sitter as young man with his hunting dog in a mountainous landscape.

Born in Dundee and educated at Eton, Breadalbane became an MP before inheriting his title and entering the House of Lords. He served in the Liberal government of Lord John Russell from 1848 and held a swathe of public appointments such as Lord Chamberlain of the Household and Lord Lieutenant of Argyllshire.

The portrait offered on April 17 may well have been painted on Massot’s 1828-29 tour of England and Scotland during which he received a series of commissions for both individual portraits and conversation pieces.

It was an impressive picture in many senses: the handling of the face and attire in particular seemed trademark Massot, as did the way the figure appeared to stand out from the background. It also benefited commercially from decent condition (it had some scattered retouching visible under UV light but fortunately not to the sitter).

It had provenance to London dealer Agnew’s and had previously sold at Bonhams in Edinburgh in 2017 for £5400 – a sum that may well have led to the £5000-7000 estimate this time around.

Here, bidders seemed more tuned to its quality and it drew much better interest, overshooting expectations and selling at £15,000 to a London-based French dealer. The price was one of the highest for a Massot portrait of a male sitter according to