John Constable's The Lock valued at up to $18.1m

John Constable's The Lock will headline an evening sale of old master paintings at Sotheby's London.

The work is valued at £8m-12m ($12m-18.1m) ahead of the December 9 sale.

Constable Lock Sothebys
The Lock is one of Constable's largest paintings

This is the second of two versions of The Lock that Constable painted, and dates to the mid-1820s.

The original set a record for a work by Constable at auction when it sold for £22.4m ($33.8m) at Christie's in 2012.

Sotheby's explains: "By painting another version of one of his most successful and critically acclaimed compositions to date, Constable could ensure that he would always have it to hand to send to future exhibitions, both in England and abroad�Ǫ

"This picture, however, he retained in his own collection until his death, and it was only sold in his studio sale in 1838.

"It has remained in private hands ever since, having only appeared at auction on one other occasion in 1855, when it achieved a world record price for the artist that was to remain unchallenged for more than a decade."

The status of the work as one of Constable's most popular paintings makes it likely that it will sell for significantly over its estimate.

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