John Lavery's Mary Borden portrait valued at $330,000

Sir John Lavery's portrait of the writer Mary Borden is to lead a sale of Irish art at Sotheby's London on September 13 with an estimate of £150,000-250,000 ($197,982-329,971).

The scene shows her seated at a desk in Bisham Abbey, her home in Berkshire.

John Lavery Borden
Mary Borden was an Anglo-American writer and war poet

Mary Borden was a wealthy American expat who moved to the UK in 1913. When the first world war broke out she set up a field hospital on the western front, funded with her own money.

While working there she began writing poems, a collection of which she published as The Forbidden Zone (1929).

The work is one of a series of paintings Lavery produced showing famous writers of the day, including JM Barrie and George Bernard Shaw.

Sotheby's states: "Of all Lavery's 'portrait interiors' representing writers, none is quite so evocative as that of Mary Borden…

"We spectators stand with the painter overlooking her large desk littered with papers and pens, as she smokes a long cigarette and contemplates a manuscript. Her isolation is poignant."

Other lots include Jack Butler Yeats' Water Lilies (1930).

Yeats started out as an illustrator and his early paintings were largely figurative, but become increasingly abstract as his style matured.

The present piece is an early example of this sea change in his work.

It's valued at £100,000-150,000 ($131,988-197,982).

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