Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sheila Fell work sets world record at Cockermouth auction

A new world auction record has been set for a Sheila Fell painting at a Cockermouth auction.

Mitchells, on Station Road, said the work was sold at its best antiques and fine arts sale for 10 years, with purchases totalling £380,000.

The auction highlight was Aspatria artist Fell’s Houses in Winter, Cumberland, which was sold to a local collector for £38,000.

There was competition for it between four telephone bidders and others in the saleroom on Friday.

Mitchells described the piece as the finest work by Fell that the company had ever been asked to sell.

The price exceeded the previous record by £6,500, which was set by Mitchells last year.

Mark Wise, auctioneer, said: “The price justifies the billing we gave it as the best Fell we’ve ever been asked to sell.

“It is a particularly fine painting with substantial appeal for collectors and hadn’t been exposed to the market since it was first bought from the 1970 Royal Academy Exhibition.”

Aspatria miner’s daughter Sheila Fell, who died in 1979, was regarded by LS Lowry as the best landscape painter of her generation.

Other paintings by Fell in the same sale included Brayton Road, Aspatria 1969, which sold to a bidder in the saleroom for £12,000, and Potato Heaps, a small unsigned painting from 1962 which surprised bidders by selling for £10,200, more than the top auction estimate of £3,500.

Works by other local artists also fetched good prices, such as Vale of Lorton, Winter by Len Roope, which sold for £800, and a lithograph by Percy Kelly sold for £540.

Other items of local interest included a painting by Victorian artist William Mitchell, of Maryport, Fishing Vessels, which was sold for £1,300, and his walking cane, incorporating a telescope and compass, was sold for £980.

Unusual items in the sale included two model steam locomotives, which sold to a private collector for £14,000 and £6,000, a stamp collection sold for a total of £7,450 and a large collection of watches, including Rolex, Jaeger le Coultre, Patek Phillipe and Omega, which sold for a total of £27,500.

Mitchells is inviting entries for its next antiques and fine art sale to be held on June 16 and 17. Contact Mr Wise on 01900 827800.

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