'Lost' Constable sketch auctions for $101,500

Coleorton Hall, a "lost" sketch by esteemed British artist John Constable, has auctioned in London for £67,250 ($101,393).

lost Constable sketch to auction
John Constable's sketch of Coleorton Hall circa 1823

Having been absent from the market for more than 50 years, the sketch, which is thought to have been completed by the artist circa 1823, was presumed lost by art historians until its recent rediscovery.

Depicting Coleorton Hall - the then-seat of collector, painter and founder of the National Gallery, Sir George Howland Beaumont - the pencil on paper work sold on July 3 as part of Bonhams' Old Master Paintings sale.

In October 1823, Constable, suffering from a bout of ill health, spent an extended period at Coleorton Hall, drawing, riding and recuperating, alongside poet Robert Southey and his daughter.

In November of the same year, Constable, who is known for his romantic rural landscapes, wrote from Coleorton Hall to his wife, Maria, possibly in reference to the present sketch: "I sent you a hasty shabby line by Southey but all that morning I had been engaged on a little sketch in Miss Southey's album of his (Beaumont's) house which pleased all parties here very much."

Constable originals prove consistently popular at auction.

In May 2013, Tate Britain purchased Constable's masterpiece Salisbury Cathedral from the Meadows for £23.1m ($34.7m) - testament to the artist's importance in terms of art history.

The auction record for John Constable's work is held by The Lock, which sold for £22.4m ($35.2m) in July 2012. The Lock remains one of the most valuable British paintings ever sold at auction.

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