Chiswick Auctions in London offered the three works at their British & European Fine Art sale yesterday, with impressive results. A pencil landscape drawing that captures in a few lines the beauty of Constable’s beloved countryside was the breakout star. A River Landscape: A group of tall trees on the left, a bend of the river with willows on the far bank on the right, in the background a hill with a castle (above) likely depicts Framlingham Castle, a subject Constable frequently turned to in the early 1800s. Estimated at £6,000- £8,000 ($7,600 - $10,000), the sketch sold for a stunning £87,500 ($110,960), 14 times it's low estimate.
Two of the other works offered at auction belonged to the art historian Ronald Brymer Beckett (1891-1970), who was an expert on Constable and published eight volumes of his collected letters. A Portrait of a Gentleman (c. 1809) is one of over 100 portraits Constable produced in his lifetime and is thought to depict the artist’s uncle, Abram Constable of Wormingford. Publicly unseen for over 70 years, the work shows Constable’s keen attention to detail across genres and his ability to convey the personalities of his sitters.