Waterhouse name boosts oil sketch

This unfinished oil sketch of a tree was kept by pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse (1849-1917) until his death and sold in his last major studio sale, held in 1926 at Christie’s.

Extracted from Antiques Trade Gazette | Gabriel Berner

Oil sketch of a tree by pre-Raphaelite painter John William Waterhouse – £4200 at Gorringe’s.

Latterly, it was removed from a house in Yalding, Kent, following instructions received from executors of the estate of the late owner, Marie Beatrix Cooper, and consigned to Lewes saleroom Gorringe’s (21% buyer’s premium). It had been bought by the Coopers – owners of the Gothic Revival furniture pictured in ATG No 2372 – from London dealer Christopher Wood.

Trees in realistic, natural settings feature in a number of paintings by Waterhouse, including his seminal 1888 work The Lady of Shallot and his later 1916 oil, A Tale from the Decameron. A sketch book in the V&A relating to the latter work features numerous studies of trees.

Estimated at £300-500 in a sale on December 4, the undated 13¾ x 9¾in (35 x 25cm) oil on canvas board was eventually knocked down at £4200.

The same sale also achieved a double-estimate £14,000 for a Duncan Grant (1885-1978) pond painting, described as in ‘original untouched condition’. Ponds were a prominent theme for the Bloomsbury Group painter, especially the one at Charleston in Sussex, the house he shared with Vanessa Bell, which features heavily in his oeuvre.