Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 3°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Sudbury: Mystery buyer has an eye on council artwork

11:55 31 July 2014

(c) Sudbury Town Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

(c) Sudbury Town Council; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

This image is copyrighted. For further information please read Rights Usage Terms.

A mystery buyer has expressed an interest in purchasing a potentially valuable painting from Sudbury Town Council.

shares

The work, by George Washington Brownlow, which has been in the council’s hands for more than 20 years, currently hangs in the newly refurbished mayor’s parlour at the Town Hall.

Entitled The Moorhen’s Nest, it is thought to be the last and largest work by the prolific Victorian artist, who died in 1876 and lived for much of his life in Belchamp Walter, just over the Essex border from Sudbury. The prospective buyer is thought to be an avid collector of Brownlow’s work.

Will Axon, from Rowley’s fine art auctioneers, believes the painting could be worth as much as £15,000 if sold through a dealer.

He said: “Much of Brownlow’s work, which is of a similar subject, featuring children playing outside or in cottage interiors, sells for around the £1,000 to £2,000 mark, but most of his paintings are at least half the size of The Moorhen’s Nest. Given the provenance of the painting and the fact that it is a good size, it could make in the region of £10,000 on the open market and if you had to purchase it from a dealer, then it would be nearer the £15,000 mark.”

Mr Axon said Victorian “chocolate boxy” paintings were not as fashionable these days, but a Brownlow work sold at auction for £14,500 in 1981 when this type of picture was very much in demand.

Sudbury’s leisure and environment committee was told an approach had been made on behalf of an interested buyer.

Committee member Lesley Ford Platt said: “Surely we are not so short of money that we have to start selling the family silver?

It looks so lovely hanging on the wall and I am of the opinion that we should hang on to our assets.”

shares

4 comments

  • George Washington Brownlow was the younger brother of my great, great grandfather, Stephen Brownlow. My daughter and I have visited Belchamp Walter, where G. W. Brownlow lived and worked and also the local church where he is buried and where there is some of his work. We greatly enjoyed our visit and would have liked to seen 'The Moorhen's Nest' in Sudbury, which unfortunately was not possible on this occasion. However, we did hope to see it some day! I think it would be a dreadful shame if Sudbury Borough Council sold this painting to anyone. In my opinion it would be both a betrayal of G. W. Brownlow's memory and of Henry Westrope, who bequeathed this work to the people of Sudbury. It is part of Sudbury's and Belchamp Walter's history. I strongly feel the painting should stay in Sudbury, as Henry Westrope intended, and as a tribute to G. W. Brownlow, who died there.

    Report this comment

    E. Corrigan

    Saturday, August 2, 2014

  • I sincerely hope they never sell this painting, it was bequeathed to Sudbury Borough Council back in 1914 by Henry Westrope. I have seen this painting several times since it has been hanging in the Town Hall, it portrays my great grandmother, Mary Ann Ives as a child and was painted locally at Belchamp Walter in 1876.

    Report this comment

    Trevor

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • They would be utterly crazy to sell it. All that will happen is that there'll be a "Cable Mail" moment, when just after they sell it they realise they were poorly advised and got a low price; and shortly thereafter it will appear in an auction at a vastly increased price. It is not stated how the council acquired the painting, but I doubt they went out and bought it on a whim. If it was given to the council, then they have no business flogging it off.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

  • To be safe, if they decided to sell, they should put it in an auction with a guide price at the 'dealer valuation' (plus extra to allow for the exorbitant fees auctions charge) and if their 'mystery buyer' wants it then he will only get it at the minimum price he would have paid a dealer and it is possible the painting is even more valuable and may sell for far more. Recently a house valued at £25,000 sold for £225,000 at auction so sellers beware of making private deals, especially when it is public-owned assets.

    Report this comment

    Johnthebap

    Thursday, July 31, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

A small plane kept the Virgin balloon company for part of the trip

Geometrical farmers’ fields, tree canopies and a selfie were all caught on camera when photographer Sarah Lucy Brown flew over the county in a hot air balloon.

Jonathan Glenister, who has been reported missing

Police are searching for a 20-year-old man from Haverhill who has not been seen since Saturday evening.

HMS Rhododendron at anchor in Russia

Talk of VE Day evokes different memories for different people. For Arthur Simmons, it came as he sailed back from Russia.

IPSWICH TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB

Fans of the animated Disney film Frozen will have the opportunity to experience every song and snow flake with an Open Air Cinema Day at Ipswich Town Football Club this summer.

Debenham village parish sign.

The leader of a Suffolk village authority has questioned the electoral process after a representative could not stand for re-election due to citizenship issues.

Delays have been caused by a signal fault

Rail services between Norwich and Diss are having to run at a reduced speed on some lines due to a fault with the signalling system.

The future of RAF Lakenheath will be central to election battle in West Suffolk on May 7

Forest Heath District Council covers a large rural area, stretching from the Cambridgeshire border and Newmarket in the south to the town of Brandon on the Norfolk border.

Blackburn v Ipswich

Ipswich Town have sold almost 2,000 tickets so far for Saturday’s crucial away trip to Blackburn Rovers, and there are still some remaining.

Aerial shot of Ixworth.

Four vehicles collided at a roundabout on the A1088 in Ixworth.

Have you seen any of the livev TV debates ahead of the General Election?

It’s nearly time to cast your vote and with just a week to go before the country goes to the polls, we want to know your current views on several key issues.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages