Samuel Palmer’s Shoreham Church sets record

Samuel Palmer created A Church With A Boat And Sheep (circa 1831) during his rural retreat in the village of Shoreham, not far from London.

A key figure in the Romantic movement, Palmer and his accomplices (a group known as the Ancients) left the hectic pace of London for the peace and quiet of the countryside.

Samuel Palmer record

Samuel Palmer left London for the countryside in the late 1820s 

They began producing work inspired by their rural idyll, drawing inspiration from England’s medieval past.

Last night, A Church With A Boat And Sheep sold for an artist's record $2.1m in Sotheby’s Line of Beauty sale in New York, a big increase on the $350,000 estimate.

It’s one of very few of Palmer’s coveted Shoreham works still in private hands.

Only three have sold at auction, the last in 1995.

The Line of Beauty sale consisted of old master drawings from the collection of Howard and Saretta Barrett. Big names like Goya and Degas featured alongside some lesser known but carefully selected pieces.

Gregory Rubinstein, head of Sotheby’s old master drawings department, said: “These results demonstrate the market’s understandable enthusiasm for museum-quality, fresh-to-market material, as was the case with the record-breaking Samuel Palmer drawing that led the auction.

“It’s incredibly rare for such a collection to appear at auction, and it’s been a joy to have worked on it from start to finish.

“Rarely, if ever, have I seen a more perfectly chosen collection, in any category.”

Please sign up to our free newsletter to receive exciting news about art and photography auctions.

Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£55,000
In stock