Painting fetches record price

A 19th CENTURY painting of Ipswich docks has fetched the record sum of £17,750 at auction, almost twice its catalogue estimate.Ipswich Docks by Moonlight, painted by John Moore of Ipswich, went under the hammer at the Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds as part of the East Anglian View auction, including works by many of the region's most illustrious artists.

A 19th CENTURY painting of Ipswich docks has fetched the record sum of £17,750 at auction, almost twice its catalogue estimate.

Ipswich Docks by Moonlight, painted by John Moore of Ipswich, went under the hammer at the Athenaeum, Bury St Edmunds as part of the East Anglian View auction, including works by many of the region's most illustrious artists.

Auctioneer John Glennie, of Bonhams, confirmed the price of the painting, which had been estimated to sell at between £4,000 and £6,000, was a record for a painting by Moore, who died in 1902.

Moore, born in Woodbridge in 1820, was an active exhibitor at the Ipswich Art Club from 1875 until 1901, and painted mostly coastal scenes, ranging along the East Anglian shoreline from Cromer to Walton-on-the-Naze.


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While not previously widely known outside artistic circles, Moore's work generated much interest and fevered bidding at auction and a number of his paintings included in the sale far exceeded all expectations.

Less well-favoured in yesterday's sale, however was Moore's much vaunted East Anglian predecessor Thomas Gainsborough, whose woodland landscape, estimated at £25,000 to £35,000, only attracted bids of £20,000, and was left unsold.

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Mr Glennie said that although this was disappointing negotiations were being conducted and he anticipated that a private sale was imminent.

He added: "Overall we are delighted with the results and there were some excellent results for individual pictures, and it's particularly thrilling that the view of Ipswich did so well and such a lot of interest has been generated in East Anglian art."

The sale's 408 lots made a total of £420,000, including £19,000 for a small Constable painting of a view near Dedham, sold to a London client over the phone, alongside works by the famed equine artist Sir Alfred Munnings and Ipswich Art Club exhibitor Leonard Russell Squirrell.

A rare first edition 1575 map of Suffolk fetched £2,820, among the highest ever prices ever paid for such a map, while a similar map of Norfolk by the same hand dated one year earlier made £1,500.

One of the surprise draws of the sale was the work of modern artist Mary Newcombe, one of the first artists to exhibit at the Walberswick Galleries, and whose 1966 painting of sheep more than doubled its £12,000 estimate, fetching £25,850, again among the highest prices paid for one of her works.

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