Keith Vaughan's The Bar II headlined a sale of Modern British and Irish Art at Sotheby's on November 19, achieving £290,500 ($453,500) against an estimate of £120,000 ($187,332).
Sotheby's describes the work as depicting "five pale, ghost-like figures sitting in silence around the bar in an atmosphere of dark ennui.
"They do not communicate, converse or glance at one another, as they sit lost in their separate, sombre thoughts.
"Vaughan was working well within a tradition when he painted The Bar; British artists from Hogarth to Burra had depicted figures in ale houses in an attempt to convey something of the human condition and the follies of the soul."
Vaughan (1912-1977) was a self-taught painter who went on to teach at the Camberwell College of Art and the Slade in London.
He was a regular in the Soho nightspots frequented by Francis Bacon.
His auction record stands at £313,250 ($501,168) for Theseus and the Minotaur, which sold in 2009.
Ivon Hitchens' Wooded Hollow made £68,500 ($106,935).
The fauvist-inspired work was executed in 1964.
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